October is Domestic Violence / Intimate Partner Violence month. Any type of aggression or violence in a close relationship is intimate partner violence (IPV). An “intimate partner” refers to dating partners, former partners, and current partners. There are four types of IPV behavior:
- Stalking – any unwanted contact or attention that is a repeated pattern and causes concern or fear for the person’s safety or the safety of someone close to the victim
- Psychological aggression – using non-verbal and/or verbal communication with the intent to exert control over another person and/or harm another person emotionally or mentally
- Sexual violence – attempting to force or forcing a partner to take part in a sex act, have a non-physical sexual event (e.g. sexting) or sexual touching when the person cannot or does not consent
- Physical violence – hurting or trying to hurt by kicking, hitting, or another other type of physical force.
Prevention includes teaching safe and healthy relationship skills, engaging influential peers and adults, creating protective environments, disrupting the developmental pathways to intimate partner violence, strengthening economic supports for families, and supporting survivors to lessen harms and increase safety. You can access more information on intimate partner violence and prevention from the CDC by using: