Year: 2019 Source: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. (2016). 41(1), 61-69. SIEC No: 20190695

Objective: To review the association between exposure to interpersonal violence and suicide among women.

Methods: In accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‐Analyses Protocol (PRISMA‐P), this review examined articles identified by using the key terms ‘interpersonal violence’, ‘suicide’ and ‘death’. Of 5,536 articles identified, 38 met the a priori inclusion criteria. These required that studies examined interpersonal violence, included women and completed suicide was a measured outcome.

Results: Thirty‐eight studies were identified. These examined suicides among women exposed to interpersonal violence as a victim (n=27) or perpetrator (n=14). A history of interpersonal violence was identified in 3.5–62.5% of female suicides, with many articles finding victims of abuse have an increased risk of death from suicide. Females perpetrating violence may also be at increased the risk of death from suicide. However, several papers have questioned these associations. Further, the contribution of mental illness to this association is unclear.

Conclusions: Although the association between suicide and interpersonal violence requires further investigation, being a victim or perpetrator of violence appears to be associated with risk of suicide. Future research should focus on the impact that the type of violence, victim‐perpetrator relationship and proximity of violence has on the risk of death from suicide.