Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate Partner Violence

Over one million women in the U.S. yearly suffer injuries due to intimate partner or domestic violence.  Thirty to fifty percent of female homicides are committed by the present or former intimate partner.  The majority of these murder victims had either been seen in emergency rooms for prior intimate partner violence related injuries or had reported these injuries to the police. It is estimated that 50% of all injuries and 21% of all injuries requiring urgent surgery are the result of partner abuse.  The largest percentages of women who are victims are 16 to 24 years old.

The term “intimate partner violence is used more now than “domestic violence.  Can you give a reason for the change in terms?

Intimate partner violence (or abuse) includes a wider range of offenders than the term “domestic violence.” Also, “abuse” is used because some of the abuse offences are not physical violence.  Intimate partner violence perpetrators include individuals close to the victim, but not necessarily present or former sexual partners.  Click below for the description of the difference in the terms.

Is intimate partner violence only the physical harm done?  Yes or No?

No, there are four main types of intimate partner violence:  Physical, sexual, threats of physical and sexual violence and psychological / emotional / economic violence.  Click below for a description of each type of violence.

What is financial abuse? Can you give one example? Can you give a reason why this would make it difficult for someone to leave an abuser?

We need money to pay rent, food, clothing, health care, etc.  Financial control becomes a weapon of the abuser to control the victim.  If the victim does not have a debit card, check book or cash, this becomes a serious obstacle for leaving the abusive relationship.

Is there help for a victim to gain financial independence?  Yes or No?

Yes.  The victim can plan for their safety by contacting their local domestic violence program.  They should also monitor their credit regularly and open a post office box for mail and any financial information. Click the link for financial tips for victims and survivors.

Who can a victim of intimate partner violence contact right NOW for help?

Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) at 800-799-SAFE.  It’s available 24/7. This number is for the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada.  Bilingual: English and Spanish with translation services for most languages.  The NDVH will give you contact information for local help.  Click below for NDVH’s complete services.  A friend or family member who wants to help can get assistance here too.

Does intimate partner violence on a woman affect her reproductive health? Yes or No?

Yes.  Sexual and reproductive coercion is a behavior that interferes with a person’s ability to control her/his reproductive life.  Examples include intentionally interfering with birth control or exposing a partner to a sexually transmitted infection, attempting to impregnate her against her will or threatening violence if a partner does not go along with the abuser’s wishes regarding birth control or the decision to terminate or continue a pregnancy. For other health consequences for a woman and her pregnancy Click below.

What percentage of women are victims of intimate partner violence?  What percentage of men are victims?

  1. a) About 1 in 10 women and 1 in 20 men
  2. b) About 1 in 4 women and 1 in 12 men”

b) About 1 in 4 women and 1 in 12 men are victims. Intimate partner violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating.  It affects people from all education levels, the very rich, the middle class and the poor.  Most of the female victims are younger women.  For “More Info” on the “war zone” of intimate partner violence where 1200 women are murdered and 2 million injured each year in the US.”

How can someone know if they are getting into a safe and healthy relationship? 

Be careful.  Do not ignore warning signs.

True or False? A woman is more likely to be a victim of intimate partner violence during her pregnancy if she is a victim before she gets pregnant.

True.  A pregnancy is not the cure for intimate partner violence.  Even in the minority of cases where violence is less during the pregnancy, violence usually continues at the previous intensity or worse after the birth.  Sometimes domestic violence begins and increases during pregnancy and it is more likely to happen with younger women and if the pregnancy is unintended.”

What are the risks for a pregnant victim of intimate partner violence?

There is a higher risk of homicide of the mother, death of the mother at the birth, rupture of her uterus, liver, spleen and pelvic fractures, bleeding and more.

What are the risks for a woman’s pregnancy if she is the victim of intimate partner violence?

There is a higher risk to the pregnancy of still birth, miscarriage, low birth weight, birth too early and fetal injuries such as bruising, fractures and deformity.  Go to “Results” in the link below for a list of the bad effects.”

Is there a significant association between firearms in the home and gunshot wounds to children in the home? 

Yes.  The 10/27/2013 study ‘United States Gunshot Violence—Disturbing Trends’, published in the American Academy of Pediatrics “found a significant association between the percentage of gunshot wounds occurring in the home and the percentage of households containing any firearms, loaded firearms and unlocked loaded firearms.” Handguns account for the majority of childhood gunshot wounds and this number appears to be increasing over the last decade.

Who is responsible for preventing sexual assault? Men or Women? 

Men are the vast majority of sexual assault offenders.  For sexual consent, ‘yes’ means ‘yes.’  The absence of a ‘no’ is not a ‘yes’.  A California law to prevent sexual assault states that yes means yes. It says that silence or lack of resistance does not constitute consent. Someone who is drunk, drugged, unconscious or asleep cannot grant consent.  If you are a man, please show this link to another man and discuss it.  Educating men to not sexually assault is the job of men.  Bonus points if you are a male that shares this with a male.  Click below to see on how men can prevent themselves from sexually assaulting women.

Is there more help available for men who want to stop assaulting? Yes or No?

Yes, Click below for more details on how men can keep themselves from being sexual assault offenders.

Who can someone call if they have been a victim of rape, abuse or incest and how can you reduce your risk of being a victim of a sexual assault?

The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) at 800-656-HOPE (4673) is open 24/7 in both English and Spanish. You can get a hard copy of “How to Reduce Your Risk of Sexual Assault” by calling the RAINN phone number.  This brochure, which is also available on the “More Info” link, describes the sexual assault prevention strategies of avoiding dangerous places, safety planning, protecting children from sexual assault and computer safety. Share the RAINN website and its prevention strategies with friends, family and any groups, clubs, classes, belong to.  Also, go to for a list of resources and national state contacts for domestic violence, sexual assault and sexual harassment.”

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