What Is Intimate Partner Violence?

Intimate partner violence is a pattern of behaviors used by an abusive person to gain control over an intimate partner. Emotional, physical, sexual, and economic abuse are all tools batterers use. Such abuse often leaves survivors feeling hopeless, worthless, and afraid. It also creates significant barriers for survivors who wish to leave abusive relationships.

Intimate partner violence is one of the most common and least reported crimes in the United States. It does not discriminate. People of all economic, racial, religious, and cultural backgrounds may be victims of intimate partner violence. It occurs in all age groups and happens at the same rate in heterosexual and homosexual relationships.

MYTH: Alcoholism and stress cause Intimate partner violence.
FACT: Alcohol use increases the level of physical danger and stress may trigger abusive incidents, but abusive patterns of power and control are the core of domestic violence.

MYTH: Partners who nag provoke the abuse.
FACT: NO ONE deserves to be abused. Nothing the victim does causes the abuse. Abuse is an issue of power and control.

MYTH: When batterers get extremely angry or jealous, they lose control of themselves and beat their partners.
FACT: Battering is about TAKING CONTROL not losing it. Batterers control their partners and children by abusing them.