Objective: To compare intimate partner violence (IPV) prevalence rates in 2006 and 2012 in a nationally representative household sample in Brazil. The associations between IPV and substance use were also investigated.
Methods: IPV was assessed using the Conflict Tactic Scale-R in two waves (2006/2012) of the Brazilian Alcohol and Drugs Survey. Weighted prevalence rates and adjusted logistic regression models were calculated.
Results: Prevalence rates of IPV victimization decreased significantly, especially among women (8.8 to 6.3%). The rates of IPV perpetration also decreased significantly (10.6 to 8.4% for the overall sample and 9.2 to 6.1% in men), as well as the rates of bidirectional violence (by individuals who were simultaneously victims and perpetrators of violence) (3.2 to 2.4% for the overall sample). Alcohol increased the likelihood of being a victim (odds ratio [OR] = 1.6) and perpetrator (OR = 2.4) of IPV. Use of illicit drugs increased up to 4.5 times the likelihood of being a perpetrator.
Conclusions: In spite of the significant reduction in most types of IPV between 2006 and 2012, violence perpetrated by women was not significantly reduced, and the current national rates are still high. Further, this study suggests that use of alcohol and other psychoactive drugs plays a major role in IPV. Prevention initiatives must take drug misuse into consideration.