There is little research on the associations between acceptance of and experiences with intimate partner violence (IPV) in rural samples, which may be different from associations in urban areas due to the higher prevalence of IPV in rural areas and the social and physical environment issues related to seeking help. The purpose of our study was to determine the proportion of participants who reported accepting male- and female-perpetrated IPV and the associations between experiences of IPV and acceptance of IPV. Data were collected from a cross-sectional survey of rural residents in one Midwest state. Approximately 4 % of participants reported it is ever acceptable for a male to hit his partner. Approximately 20 % of males and 12 % of females reported it is ever acceptable for a female to hit her partner. A higher proportion of individuals who were victims or perpetrators of IPV reported accepting retaliatory IPV (i.e., when partner hits first) perpetrated by individuals of their own gender. This finding suggests the previously reported high rates of bidirectional IPV in rural areas may be fueled by this acceptance of physical retaliation. Interventions to break this cycle of IPV may be guided by qualitative research into the specific ways the rural environment contributes to acceptance of retaliatory aggression.
- Attitudinal acceptance
- Intimate partner violence