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A site dedicated to providing information and resources for health care providers as well as survivors of violence

Violence against women > Different forms of Violence > Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence

What constitutes Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence?

Domestic violence and abuse, also called intimate partner violence, is when one person purposely causes either physical or mental harm to another, including:

-Physical abuse
-Psychological or emotional abuse
-Sexual assault
-Isolation
-Controlling all of the victim's money, shelter, time, food, etc.






Often, the violent person is a husband, former husband, boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend, but sometimes the abuser is female. Domestic violence and abuse are common and must be taken very seriously.

One in four women report that they have been physically assaulted or raped by an intimate partner. These crimes occur in both heterosexual and same-sex relationships. Physical and emotional trauma can lead to increased stress, depression, lowered self-esteem, and post-traumatic stress disorder (an emotional state of discomfort and stress connected to the memories of a disturbing event).

Violence against women by anyone is always wrong, whether the abuser is a current or past spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend; someone you date; a family member; an acquaintance; or a stranger. You are not at fault. You did not cause the abuse to happen, and you are not responsible for the violent behaviour of someone else.

Dating and domestic violence occurs in all socio-economic, educational, racial, and age groups. The issues of power and control are at the heart of family violence. The batterer uses acts of violence and a series of behaviours to gain power and control.

***If you or someone you know has been a victim of intimate partner violence, seek help from family members, friends, or community organizations. An important part of getting help is knowing if you are in an abusive relationship. It can be hard to admit you're in an abusive relationship. Learn more about how to get help for intimate partner violence or domestic violence from Section II.

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