A pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over another. Abusive relationships are built on power, control, and fear rather than communication, respect, and mutual understanding. Domestic/Dating/Intimate Partner Violence occurs regardless of a person's race, gender, class, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or other aspects of a persons identity and culture.
There are many different kinds/types of abuse and each kind takes multiple forms.
According to the CDC, there are four main types of intimate partner violence:
Physical violence is the intentional use of physical force with the potential for causing death, disability, injury, or harm. Physical violence includes, but is not limited to; scratching; pushing; shoving; throwing; grabbing; biting; choking; shaking; slapping; punching; burning; use of a weapon; and use of restraints or one's body, size, or strength against another person.
Sexual violence is divided into three categories: 1) Use of physical force to compel a person to engage in a sexual act against his or her will, whether or not the act is completed. 2) Attempted or completed sex act involving a person who is unable to understand the nature or condition of the act, to decline participation, or to communicate unwillingness to engage in the sexual act, e.g., because of illness, disability, or the influence of alcohol or other drugs, or because of intimidation or pressure 3) Abusive sexual contact.
Threats of physical or sexual violence use words, gestures, or weapons to communicate the intent to cause death, disability, injury, or physical harm. It is the act of inflicting fear on another.
Psychological/emotional violence involves trauma to the victim caused by acts, threats of acts, or coercive tactics. Psychological/emotional abuse can include, but is not limited to, humiliating the victim, controlling what the victim can and cannot do, withholding information from the victim, deliberately doing something to make the victim feel diminished or embarrassed, isolating the victim from friends and family, and denying the victim access to money or other basic resources.
Stalking, sexual misconduct, and sexual harassment are also often components of IPV. For more information, please visit the following pages.