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What is IPV?

Intimate partner violence (IPV), sometimes called domestic violence, can be any pattern of behavior in a relationship that is used to maintain power and control over an intimate partner. It can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological in nature. Threatening to cause harm of any kind is IPV. IPV also includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.

IPV can happen to anyone of any race, age, socioeconomic background, education level, sexual orientation, religion or gender.  It can happen to couples who are married, living together, or dating.

You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your partner:

  • calls you names, insults you or criticizes you
  • does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive
  • tries to isolate you from friends or family
  • monitors where you go, who you call and who you spend time with
  • does not want you to work
  • controls finances or refuses to share money
  • punishes you by withholding affection
  • expects you to ask permission
  • threatents to hurt you, your children, your family, or your pets
  • humiliates you

You may be in a physically abusive relationship if your partner has ever:

  • damaged property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc)
  • pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked, or choked you
  • abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place
  • scared you by driving recklessly
  • used a weapon to threaten or hurt you
  • forced you to leave your home
  • trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving
  • prevented you from calling police or seeking medical attention
  • hurt your children
  • used physical force in sexual situations

You may be in a sexually abusive relationship if your partner:

  • views women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles
  • accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships
  • pressures you to dress in a sexual way you are uncomfortable with
  • insults you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names
  • has ever forced or manipulated you into having sex or performing sexual acts
  • held you down during sex
  • demanded sex when you were sick, tired, or after beating you
  • hurt you with weapons or objects during sex
  • involved other people in sexual activities with you
  • ignored your feelings regarding sex

If your partner has done even one of these things, you may be in an abusive relationship.  Please consider calling the
National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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