Alongside gender inequality, various other factors intersect to increase or decrease the likelihood of violence occurring. The characteristics of a society, setting, or individual that increase the likelihood of violence occurring are called risk factors and the characteristics that decrease the likelihood of violence occurring are called protective factors. Immediate events or circumstances that can precipitate an incident of violence are called situational triggers, and they need to be understood alongside risk factors.
In the next series of topics, we will use the socio-ecological model to identify specific factors at different levels. As this model is most useful when it is tailored to a specific type of violence, we will focus on IPV in heterosexual relationships.