Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence - University of Houston
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About Our Research

As is the case globally, domestic violence (DV) is a severe problem in the Houston region, with high rates of both intimate partner violence (IPV) and other forms of family and gender-based violence. Demand for support services outpaces available resources, and reports suggest that a small proportion of DV and IPV are reported, largely because victims don’t see that reporting will help. Nationally about 85% of IPV victims/survivors are female.

The core problem is the dependency of women, particularly those with children, on their partners—due to women’s relatively low wages compared to men as well as the lack of affordable housing in many regions, including Houston. Dependency makes people vulnerable to violence at the hands of those they depend upon. Effectively tackling this complex societal and public health problem requires a comprehensive strategy encompassing both immediate assistance and long-term prevention. The most effective method would be creation of a world in which women were economically independent.

The UH IRWGS works with community partners including shelters and other service providers, to gather data and create a picture of the regional dynamics around DV and IPV as well as sexual assault, and to develop solutions. Our 2023 our study found that the rate of IPV homicide in Harris County had doubled over the prior 4 years. Based in interviews & discussions with DV leaders, we noted the connection to the passing of a permit-less carry gun law in Texas and recommended a more collaborative approach to service provision and increased local investment (link).

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