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Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate Partner Violence, or IPV, is physical, emotional, or sexual abuse or threatening behavior that occurs between two people in an intimate relationship, including married couples. The violence can range from a single incident to an ongoing situation. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are four categories of IPV, including:

  • Sexual abuse – Sexual abuse occurs when one partner forces the other partner to engage in a sexual act to which the partner does not consent. Sexual abuse and non-consensual sex acts can occur within a marriage; a marriage does not imply automatic consent to all sexual acts.
  • Physical abuse – Physical abuse occurs when one partner hits, kicks, or uses some other physical force against the other partner, including the use of weapons or inflicting burns.
  • Emotional abuse – Emotional abuse occurs in a variety of ways. One partner may threaten the other, his or her possessions, or his or her friends and family. One partner may also degrade the other partner’s feelings of self-worth. Examples of emotional abuse include intimidation, vulgar name-calling, stalking, and refusing to allow a partner to see loved ones.
  • Threatening behavior – Threatening behavior includes any sort of threat of physical or sexual abuse. A threat may be verbal, gesture-driven, or incorporate other means, such as weapons, to indicate the intent of physical harm.

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