To estimate the prevalence of exposure to violence, characterizing its magnitude, types and occurrence in the adult population in Brazil.
Cross-sectional study with data from the National Health Survey conducted in 2019. The prevalence of violence in the last 12 months and respective 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were estimated according to sociodemographic variables. Crude prevalence ratios were estimated by Poisson regression.
The prevalence of exposure to violence among adults in Brazil was 18.3% (95%CI 17.8–18.8), with a significantly higher frequency among women (19.4%; 95%CI 18.7–20.0), in the 18–29 age group (27.0%; 95%CI 25.7–28.4), in self-declared black people (20.6%; 95%CI 19.3–21.9) and mixed race (19.3%; 95%CI 18.6–20.1) and among inhabitants of the Northeast region (18.7%; 95%CI 18.0–19.5). Among the victims of violence, 15.6% (95%CI 14.2–17.0) sought health care, of which (91.2%; 95%CI 88.1–93.6) were attended. The most reported types of violence were: psychological (17.4%; 95%CI 16.9–17.9), physical (4.1%; 95%CI 3.9–4.4) and sexual (0.8%; 95%CI 0.7–0.9). Men were more exposed to violence with the use of firearms or sharp targets, while women were the predominant victims for all other types and mechanisms of violence. The aggressor most cited was the intimate partner, the most frequent place of occurrence of violence being the residence and public streets/places.
In Brazil, violence affected one in five adults. Women, young people and people with black skin were the population segments most exposed to violence, which should be a priority in prevention actions.
Violence; Domestic violence; Intimate partner violence; Health surveys; Cross-sectional studies