Domestic Abuse, otherwise known as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), is a pattern of behaviors used by an intimate partner to maintain power and control over another partner. It can manifest in many ways and to (or by) anyone of any age, race, sex, gender or religion. It can happen to those who are married, co-habitating, or just dating. In other words, IPV does not discriminate!
IPV includes a wide variety of behaviors that physically harm, cause fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to do something they do not want to do. This can manifest in physical and sexual violence, threats, intimidation, or stalking, emotional abuse, reproductive coercion, digital abuse, and economic deprivation.
These types of behaviors effect more than 12 million people each year.
More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
And everyone can make a difference simply by being educated on the signs of IPV, aware of organizations that provide assistance to victims and help for abusers, and speaking up when someone they know is experiencing abuse.
Get educated by knowing the signs.
Be aware of the local agencies in your community that help victims, as well as programs to help abusers.
Family Crisis Center
Sexual Assault Victim Services
Mental Health Navigation
Speak up when you see abuse happening.
If regards to the abuser:
Identify abusive or unhealthy behaviors. Do not support these behaviors or justify them.
Don't support the abusers efforts to minimize the severity of their behavior.
Provide resources for intervention or appropriate help if an abuser is looking to seek professional help.
Above all, set an example to other by having healthy relationships of your own!
We can change the statistics by simply being educated, aware, and speaking up when unhealthy behaviors take place. You can make the difference.