The role that domestic violence plays in perpetuating poverty is often overlooked as a development issue. Using data from the 2005 Demographic Health Survey, this paper examines the prevalence of intimate partner violence in Colombia. Employing an intrahousehold bargaining framework and a bivariate probit model, it assesses the prevalence of and risk factors for physical and emotional intimate partner violence, including such variables as income, education, gender-based intrahousehold decision making, employment, migration related to armed conflict and child maltreatment. The findings of the study particularly underscore the effects of early childhood maltreatment on domestic violence and the need for policy measures that span the life cycle and include families. Its recommendations for policy makers and researchers take into consideration practical, theoretical and methodological issues.