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Domestic Violence (DV), also known as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is abuse or aggression that occurs in a romantic relationship. "Domestic" refers to both current and former spouses and dating partners. DV can vary in how often it happens and how severe it is. It can range from one episode of violence that could have lasting impact to chronic and severe episodes over multiple years. DV can include any of the following types of behavior:

  • Physical violence is when a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, or using another type of physical force.

  • Sexual violence is forcing or attempting to force a partner to take part in a sex act, sexual touching, or a non-physical sexual event (e.g., sexting) when the partner does not or cannot consent.

  • Stalking is a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention and contact by a partner that causes fear or concern for one’s own safety or the safety of someone close to the victim.

  • Psychological aggression is the use of verbal and non-verbal communication with the intent to harm a partner mentally or emotionally and/or to exert control over a partner.

DV is connected to other forms of violence and is related to serious health issues and economic consequences. However, IPV and other forms of violence can be prevented. For more information about IPV definitions please see Intimate Partner Violence Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Data Elements, Version 2.0. [3.04 MB, 164 Pages, 508].

If you have answered yes to any of the above, you may be in an abusive relationship. We urge you to please reach out for guidance and assistance from any of our domestic violence agencies. 

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