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People with mental illness are at increased risk of intimate partner violence (IPV) victimisation, but little is known about their risk for different forms of IPV, related health impact and help-seeking.
To estimate the odds for past-year IPV, related impact and disclosure among people with and without pre-existing chronic mental illness (CMI).
We analysed data from 23 222 adult participants in the 2010/2011 British Crime Survey using multivariate logistic regression.
Past-year IPV was reported by 21% and 10% of women and men with CMI, respectively. The adjusted relative odds for emotional, physical and sexual IPV among women with versus without CMI were 2.8 (CI = 1.9–4.0), 2.6 (CI = 1.6–4.3) and 5.4 (CI = 2.4–11.9), respectively. People with CMI were more likely to attempt suicide as result of IPV (aOR = 5.4, CI = 2.3–12.9), less likely to seek help from informal networks (aOR = 0.5, CI = 0.3–0.8) and more likely to seek help exclusively from health professionals (aOR = 6.9, CI = 2.6–18.3)
People with CMI are not only at increased risk of all forms of IPV, but they are more likely to suffer subsequent ill health and to disclose exclusively to health professionals. Therefore, health professionals play a key role in addressing IPV in this population.