2. Definition of Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate partner violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors that may include inflicted physical injury, psychological abuse, sexual assault, progressive social isolation, stalking, deprivation, intimidation and threats. These behaviors are perpetrated by someone who is, was, or wishes to be involved in an intimate or dating relationship with an adult or adolescent, and are aimed at establishing control by one partner over the other.

Source: Futures Without Violence, (formerly the Family Violence Prevention Fund), "Preventing Domestic Violence: Clinical Guidelines on Routine Screening", San Francisco, CA, 1999.

“Many of the strategies that abusers use involve considerable forethought and planning such as methodically isolating a victim from friends, family, and social supports or not allowing her (or him) to work or go to school. This definition helps us to understand that IPV is a learned behavior versus solely an issue of anger management.” (FWV 2002)