Methods. Participants were drawn from a randomized control trial evaluation of an intervention for mothers who had experienced IPV victimization originally conducted in 2006-2010. Women (N=120) with IPV victimization within the previous two years were randomly assigned to either a treatment or control group, then interviewed at baseline (time 1), 5-weeks (upon intervention/wait-list completion; time 2), 6-months (time 3), and 8-years (time 4) after. Longitudinal multilevel modeling was used to examine predictors of number of violent partners over time, including IPV victimization, trauma exposure, posttraumatic stress (PTS), depression, and sociodemographic indicators.
Results. Results revealed that less sexual IPV and more psychological IPV over time were associated with a greater number of violent partners. Lower levels of PTS re-experiencing over time were associated with a greater number of violent partners. Lower levels of positive affect and higher levels of somatic depressive symptoms were associated with a higher number of violent partners over time. Unemployment and higher levels of income over time predicted greater number of violent partners. Finally, there was a significant interaction between the passage of time and group assignment, such that those in the treatment group at time 4 reported significantly fewer violent partners than those in the control group.
Conclusions/Implications. This present study provides a rich examination of women’s risk factors for IPV victimization with multiple partners utilizing a prospective methodology with eight-year longitudinal data. This research suggests that it is not so much what has happened to a woman (i.e. experiences of abuse) that create risk for re-engagement rather nuances of how a woman is doing following traumatic experiences (i.e. traumatic stress and depressive symptoms). This is hopeful as there are many evidence-based interventions that have shown to be effective for treating aspects of traumatic stress and depression following experiences of trauma.