This article summarizes the findings from the first nationally representative survey on intimate partner violence conducted in Spain. Although feminist groups have been vend active in the advocacy of solutions for this problem in Spain for the past two decades, it was not until 1997 that the problem received general attention from the public, after a particularly dramatic case of wife abuse shocked Spanish society. The article also raises questions about the measurement of violence against women and argues that it is crucial to incorporate questions about the subjective perception of the abuse. The findings show that sexual abuse in intimate relationships is as prevalent and serious as other forms of abuse. They also show that women suffering sexual abuse are less likely to define themselves as victims of abuse. © 2003 Sage Publications.