What is Intimate Partner Violence?
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a pattern of coercive, exploitative and violent tactics, used by one intimate partner against the other, in order to establish and maintain power, control and dominance. IPV can exist in any relationship, regardless of the partners’ sexual orientation (who they are attracted to) or gender identity (the gender they feel themselves to be, regardless of what gender they were raised to be).
- A pattern of controlling behavior.
- Physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, economic; using the legal system.
- One-sided, with a perpetrator and a victim.
- The abuser’s responsibility.
IPV is not…
- Caused by loss of control due to anger, substance abuse, PTSD, brain injury or mental illness or hormones.
- Isolated fights or incidents of violence in an otherwise good relationship.
- The victim’s fault.
Control tactics used by abusers of every sexual orientation or gender identity include:
- Punching, kicking, biting – any form of physical violence.
- Displaying and using weapons.
- Sexual assault.
- Treating partner as a sexual object.
- Demanding sex when, where and how the abuser wants it.
- Name-calling and insults (e.g., telling partner they are too ugly to ever find another relationship).
- Financial abuse: theft, controlling finances, harassment at work.
- Isolation, restrictions, monitoring; (e.g., screening partner’s calls).
- Threats; (e.g., to kill children or pets).
- Stalking; harassment by phone and email.
- Treating partner as stupid and inferior.
- Falsely reporting partner to CPS/ACS for abusive behavior or substance use.