Intimate partner violence (IPV)

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious problem in the United States. Each year, women experience about 4.8 million intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes. Men are the victims of about 2.9 million intimate partner-related physical assaults. It can happen to anyone, at any age, no matter what race or religion they are, no matter what their level of education is or how much money they make.

Intimate partner violence may involve physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, such as:

  • Hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, shaking, slapping, kicking, pinching, choking, or burning, or threats to hurt you, your children, or pets. Drugging you with medicine, tying you up, and physical punishment of any kind also are kinds of abuse.
  • Controlling behavior, such as limiting contact with your family or friends, or limiting you access to money.
  • Not trusting you or spying on you, such as repeatedly calling or checking up on you for no good reason.
  • Name-calling, insults, threats, or putting you down in front of others.
  • Forcing you to have sex or do other sexual acts. This can range from unwanted touching to rape, sodomy, forced nudity, forcing you to watch pornography, or forcing you to act out pornography. Preventing you from using birth control or protecting yourself from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is also abuse.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline can help you find resources in your area. This nationwide database has detailed information on domestic violence shelters, other emergency shelters, legal support and assistance programs, and social service programs.

Contact information

  • Call 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233).
  • Call 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
  • Visit the Web site at: www.ndvh.org.

Last Updated: January 20, 2010

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