Relationships Among Intimate Partner Violence, Work, and Health
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
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Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a major public health problem, and recent attention has focused on its impact on workers and workplaces. We provide findings from a pan-Canadian online survey on the relationships among IPV, work, and health. In total, 8,429 people completed the survey, 95.5% of them in English and 78.4% female. Reflecting the recruitment strategy, most (95.4%) were currently working, and unionized (81.4%). People with any lifetime IPV experience reported significantly poorer general health, mental health, and quality of life; those with both recent IPV and IPV experience over 12 months ago had the poorest health. Among those who had experienced IPV, about half reported that violence occurred at or near the workplace, and these people generally had poorer health outcomes. Employment status moderated the relationship between IPV exposure and health status, with those who were currently working and had experienced IPV having similar health status to those without IPV experience who were not employed. While there were gender differences in IPV experience, in the impacts of IPV at work, and in health status, gender did not moderate any associations. In this very large data set, we found robust relationships among different kinds of IPV exposure (current, recent, and lifetime), health and quality of life, and employment status, including the potentially protective effect of current employment on health for both women and men. Our findings may have implications for strategies to address IPV in workplaces, and should reinforce emerging evidence that IPV is also an occupational health issue.