The study investigated the socio-demographic correlates of intimate partner violence among couples in Enugu North Senatorial Zone, Enugu State, Nigeria. The population of the study comprised all he registered married couples in Enugu North senatorial zone from 2011-2015. 868 respondents made up 434 couples were sued as sample. The instrument for data collection was a questionnaire entitled: Intimate Partner Violence Question (IPVQ) five research questions and four hypotheses guided the study. The research questions were answered using person product moment correlation while regression analysis was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The results obtained showed that Nigerian couples are faced with different types of intimate partner violence which are: physical violence, psychological violence and sexual violence; age of the couples and their employment status were the socio-demographic factors that significantly correlate with intimate partner violence among couples and that gender and educational status did not correlate with intimate partner violence significantly. Based on the findings, recommendations for implementation include organization confirming marriages such as families, religious groups, hospitals, courts etc, ensuring that their clients pass through marital counselling with professional marriage counsellors among others.

Background of the Study
It is often assumed that romantic relationships are all about love, security and protection but paradoxical to this idea, an intimate partner does not always offer love and security. There is evidence that a substantial percentage of people incur the risk of experi-encing violent acts from their intimate partner at least once in their lifetime (e.g., Archer, 2000; Garcia-Moreno, Jansen, Heise, Ellsberg & Watts, 2006). In the United States, for example, one survey found that during one day an average of over 16 calls per minute were directed to intimate partner hotlines across the country (Awake, 2013). The Awake went further to explain that the situation is worse than statistics reveal since many incidents go unreported.

An intimate partner is a person with whom one has a close personal relationship that may be characterized by the partners’ emotional connectedness, regular contact, ongoing physical contact and sexual behavior, identity as a couple, and familiarity and knowledge about each other’s lives (Breiding, Basile, Smith, Black & Mahendra, 2015). Although it may also include people in dating relationships, same sex spouses and those who are engaged to be married, betrothed or ‘promised’ under traditional cultural practices. However, in this study, the term ‘intimate partner’ shall be used in reference to heterosexual married spouse. Intimate partners may experience violence in their relationship.

Violence refers to the intentional use of physical force with the potential for causing death, disability, injury, or harm (Saltzman, Fanslow, McMahon, & Shelley, 2002). Violence as defined by the World Health Organizations (2002) is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation. This definition involves intentionality with the committing of the act itself, irrespective of the outcome it produces. Violence includes any condition or act that creates a climate in which the individual feels fear or intimidation in addition to being victims of assault, theft or vandalism (Aluede, 2011). In this present study therefore, any behavior that is exerted in an injurious, hurtful or damaging way may be described as violence (by a person and against a person).Violence can be named according to the goal and manner of the act or behavior. For example, if is perpetrated by a spouse against the partner it is termed Intimate partner violence.

Intimate Partner Violence according to World Health Organization (2010) is behavior within an intimate relationship that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including acts of physical violence, sexual violence, psychological abuse and controlling behaviors. Intimate partner violence is used to encompass physical, sexual and psychological violence, or any combination of these acts (Krantz and Garcia-Moreno, 2005). Intimate partner violence is defined as a pattern of physical, psychological abuse and/or sexual assault (and threats thereof) from a current or former intimate partner within a context of coercive control (Breiding et al, 2015). Intimate partner violence as a working definition in this present study therefore is a pattern of behavior where one intimate partner coerces, dominates, assaults, intimidates or harms the other intimate partner. In other words, any violent or ill intended behavior that could cause harm to the other person within the confines of an intimate relationship is classified as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).

From the definitional borders of IPV, it is seen that, its types or forms are: physical violence, sexual violence and psychological abuse. Physical violence involves forceful physical contact that may vary from light pushes, shoves, scratches, grabs, chokes, shakes, use of restraints or one’s body, size, or strength against another person and slaps to severe beatings and lethal violence. Sexual violence includes coercive and physical behaviors varying from trying to persuade someone to perform a sexual act against his or her will, ignoring “no” responses, to physically forced sex acts (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000).

The term psychological abuse (or emotional abuse) refers to acting in an offensive or degrading manner towards another, usually verbally, and may include threats, ridicule, withholding affection, and restrictions (e.g., social isolation, financial control) (O’Leary & Maiuro, 2001). Psychologically abusive acts in some cases may not be perceived as abuse because they are covert and manipulative in nature. Nevertheless, psychological abuse is a predictive component of intimate partner violence for a number of reasons including the fact that psychological abuse frequently co-occurs with other forms of intimate partner violence. Recent studies have noted that psychological abuse in intimate partner violence is more prevalent, often a precursor of physical and sexual IPV, and may be more harmful than physical IPV (Follingstad, 2007; Péloquin, Lafontaine and Brassard, 2011). Besides, acts of psychological abuse can significantly influence the impact of other forms of intimate partner violence (e.g., the fear resulting from being hit by an intimate partner will likely be greater had the intimate partner previously threatened to kill the victim). Research suggests that the impact of psychological violence by an intimate partner is every bit as significant as that of physical violence by an intimate partner (Follingstad, 2007).

In the past, intimate partner violence was conceived as violence against women by men but the more recent literature suggest that violence by an intimate partner is not strictly
a   male-to-female phenomenon but a human phenomenon (Carmo, Grams,& Magalhaes 2011; Cho, 2012; Peloquin et al 2011). In a study by McDonald, Jouriles, Tart, and Minze,(2009), on intimate partner violence among married women, 67% of them agreed to using an act of severe violence against their partner. Hines and Douglas (2010) reported that in this male victim sample, 20% had experienced extreme violence that is consistent with Intimate Terrorism(e.g., choking, using a knife, burning with scalding water, targeting of their genitals) during attacks, and that 95% of the female perpetrators used controlling acts (e.g., death threats, threats to the family pet, display of weapons, smashing things, threats of using the criminal justice system–calling the police and lodging a domestic violence complaint).Intimate Terrorism is the use of physical abuse in addition to a broad range of tactics designed to get and keep control over the other person in the relationship. Results from the 1995 National Study of Couples indicate that almost half of IPV events are mutual (Caetano, Vaeth, and Ramisetty-Mikler, 2008), although women are more likely than men to sustain injuries (Archer, 2000).

Both victims and perpetrators have a more difficult experience in the aftermath of IPV whether physical, psychological or sexual. Intimate partner violence produces physical, mental, and social harm to its victims. It is associated with a broad range of physical and psychological consequences (Wingood, 2000), depression, (Lipsky, Caetano, Field and Bazargan ( 2005), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Twamley, Allard, Thorp, Norman ,Hami Cissell , Hughes and Berardi 2009), difficulty with daily activities, memory loss, stress, suicidal thoughts or attempts, and even suicide (Daniels, 2005). Afifi, Macmilan, Cox, Asmund-son, Stein, and Sareen (2009) found an association between poor mental health and physical IPV for both men and women, although gender differences were noted. That is, men reported more externalizing problems (e.g., substance abuse) and women more internalizing problems (e.g. anxiety disorders) as reaction to their victimization.

According to Lawrence, Oringo and Brock (2012), violence significantly decreases victims’ psychological wellbeing, increases the probability of suffering from depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse. The authors stated further that victimized individuals are more likely to report visits to mental health professionals and to take medications including painkillers and tranquilizers. According to them, Victims of IPV experience more physical injuries, poorer physical functioning and....

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