The issue of domestic violence also referred to as intimate partner violence is not a new issue and despite this, it is very misunderstood. It is a public health issue that results has consequences on a personal, community, and societal level. For many, domestic violence is about a female being physically abused by a male partner. While this is one aspect of the issue it does not encompass the entirety of it at all. Firstly, men are victims of abuse as well. Secondly, intimate partner violence is not only physical and same sex couples are impacted by intimate partner violence as well. Another misconception of this issue is that only “certain people” encounter it. Actually, domestic violence impacts all races, cultures, religions, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses equally. Although we have come very far in standing against abusive relationships, there is still a lot of work to be done.
- According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
• On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.
During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
• 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
• 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
• 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
• On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
• Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crimes
• Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.
• 19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.
• Domestic victimization is related to a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.
• Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injur
Intimate partner violence (IPV) also known as domestic violence, domestic abuse, battering or dating abuse is defined as any form of physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological abuse between partners in an intimate relationship. As previously mentioned, intimate partner violence is a public health issue that impacts millions of individuals and families and it is one of the most common forms of inter-personal violence on an international level. Studies have found that intimate partner violence is more multifaceted than originally thought. Recently, there has been growing research indicating that there are different types and patterns of intimate partner violence. It is argued that understanding the various types and patterns of intimate partner violence can lead to improved decision for professionals helping individuals and couples affected by intimate partner violence. Some argue that the term intimate partner violence should be seen as an “umbrella term” that includes a wide range of violent and abusive relationship patterns and dynamics. All of these different dynamics vary based on the pattern of control that is present.
Gaining an understanding of the different patterns that are commonly found in violent relationships will assist both professionals and individuals impacted by intimate partner violence. For some, intimate partner violence commonly referred to as domestic violence is characterized by the abusers need to gain power over their victim. For an abuser, gaining power occurs in a slow gradual manner This form of abuse, is also referred to as intimate terrorism. It is made up of psychological manipulation that isolates the victim and breaks down their self-confidence and self-esteem. In addition, to the manipulation, victims are often times threatened by their partner. Perpetrators commonly threaten the lives of the victims or they tell the victim that if they leave they will take their own lives. Many times, victims of this form of abuse, feel responsible for the violence that is present in the relationship. Therefore, by the time it escalates into physical violence, the victim feels deserving of the abuse. This form of violence is severe and can result in homicide.
Another common form of intimate partner violence, is situational couple violence or common couple violence. Some of you might have heard of this term and many of you might have no idea what they mean. This form of violence is done in a reciprocal manner, where both partners become violent towards each other. Situational couple violence is not about one partner gaining control over the other but rather about both partners losing self-control during arguments and disagreements. For example, during an argument one partner will push the other partner while other throws objects. Couples who experience this do not have the necessary skills to resolve their conflicts. Also, this form of violence usually does not increase in frequency or severity over time. Research suggests that this type of intimate partner violence usually does not consist of severe violence. However, safety should always be considered due to the use of violence to resolve conflict. It is estimated that as many as 50% of American couples experience “common couple violence.”
This does not fully explain the complexities that pertains to intimate partner violence, but it does introduce that there are many facets that encompass the issue. It is important to know that no matter what pattern you or someone you know is experiencing, safety should always be everyone’s number one priority. Intimate terrorism has often times resulted in homicide or suicide and it is important to get appropriate help. Situational couple violence or common couple violence may not pose the same risk, however those involved do not have the skills to control themselves during conflict which can still be a risk. If you or someone you know is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship and professional help is needed, the first step is often to ask yourself “where can I find psychological or care management services near me?”. At RK Care Group, we are advocates for healthy relationships and take a stand against domestic violence. For more information, visit our website www.rkcaregroup.com.