Intimate Partner Violence


What is intimate partner violence? Intimate partner violence is also known as domestic violence. The abuser knowingly harms his or her partner. This person tries to control or overpower the relationship by using intimidation, threats, or physical force. Most victims of domestic violence are women, but men may also be victims. There may be a pattern of an ongoing or on and off abuse. The abuser may beg for forgiveness, promise to change, or try to make up for the wrongdoing. The abuser may also act as if the violence never happened.

What are the types of intimate partner violence?

What increases the risk intimate partner violence? There are many things that may cause someone to abuse his partner. Poor or crowded living conditions may be one of the reasons why it occurs. The following are other possible causes and conditions that may increase your risk of domestic violence:

What are the signs and symptoms of intimate violence?

How is intimate partner violence diagnosed? Your caregiver will examine your body closely to look for injuries caused by physical or sexual abuse. Your caregiver may ask you if you have been hit, slapped, injured, or touched sexually without your consent. He may also want to know who is abusing you and how long the abuse has been happening. You may need to answer written questions so your caregiver can learn more about your situation and find if you are a victim of intimate partner violence. You may also need any of the following tests:

How is intimate partner violence treated? You may need to leave your abusive partner. You may also be placed in a safe shelter or home care. Special services may be offered to ensure your safety and health. Treatment may also include any of the following:

What are the risks of intimate partner violence? When you report intimate partner violence, you may feel sad, blame yourself, or be afraid for your children and more violence. It may be difficult to be away from your family or friends, or to go to counseling. If intimate partner violence is not stopped, you may develop serious health and mental problems. Examples include headache, body pain, sexually transmitted infection (STI), and diarrhea. Intimate partner violence may lead to severe injuries or become life-threatening. You and your children may feel severe trauma, distress, anxiety, or depression.

Where can I find support and more information?

When should I contact my caregiver? Contact your caregiver if:

When should I seek immediate care? Seek care immediately or call 911 if:


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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