Situational Characteristics Uniquely Associated With Children’s Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence

Stefanie J. Sharman, Kerri Coomber, Richelle Mayshak, Ashlee Curtis, Shannon Hyder, Arlene Walker, Paul Liknaitzky, Peter Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Exposure to parental violence can have devastating consequences for children, including significant personal, social, and academic problems. The present study determined the situational factors that are associated with children’s exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) incidents. To examine whether these factors were unique to child witnesses’ presence at IPV incidents, we also determined the factors that are associated with children’s exposure to family violence (FV) and other family member witnesses’ exposure to IPV incidents. Participants responded to an online panel survey investigating the role of alcohol and other drugs in family and domestic violence incidents in Australia. Nine hundred fifty-two respondents reported an IPV incident and 299 reported an FV incident; they provided details about their most recent incident. Results showed that child witnesses were more likely to be present during IPV incidents if the incident took place at home (odds ratio [OR] = 3.10), if a similar incident had occurred previously (OR = 1.66), if drugs were involved (OR = 1.60), and if a police report was made (OR = 2.61). There was some overlap with the other witness and violence combinations: The presence of a police report also predicted child witnesses’ presence at FV incidents, and a home location also predicted other family member witnesses’ presence at IPV incidents. These results enhance our understanding of the situations in which children might witness IPV incidents; future research is needed to determine whether these situational factors can be used to judge risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)NP11087-NP11105
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number19-20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • child witnesses
  • family violence
  • intimate partner violence

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