Prevalence of Self-Reported Intimate Partner Violence Victimization Among Military Personnel: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Background: Research on intimate partner violence (IPV) in the military has tended to focus on military personnel as perpetrators and civilian partners/spouses as victims. However, studies have found high levels of IPV victimization among military personnel. This article systematically reviews studies of the prevalence of self-reported IPV victimization among military populations. Methods: Searches of four electronic databases (Embase, Medline, PsycINFO, and Web of Science) were supplemented by reference list screening. Meta-analyses of the available data were performed, where possible, using the random effects model. Results: This review included 28 studies with a combined sample of 69,808 military participants. Overall, similar or higher prevalence rates of physical IPV victimization were found among males compared to females and this was supported by a meta-analytic subgroup analysis: pooled prevalence of 21% (95% confidence interval [CI] = [17.4, 24.6]) among males and 13.6% among females (95% CI [9.5, 17.7]). Psychological IPV was the most prevalent type of abuse, in keeping with findings from the general population. There were no studies on sexual IPV victimization among male personnel. Evidence for the impact of military factors, such as deployment or rank, on IPV victimization was conflicting. Discussion: Prevalence rates varied widely, influenced by methodological variation among studies. The review highlighted the lack of research into male IPV victimization in the military and the relative absence of research into impact of IPV. It is recommended that future research disaggregates results by gender and considers the impact of IPV, in order that gender differences can be uncovered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-609
Number of pages24
JournalTrauma, Violence, and Abuse
Issue number3
Early online date18 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • anything related to domestic violence
  • disclosure of domestic violence
  • domestic violence
  • perceptions of domestic violence


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