Friday, October 01, 2021

What is Intimate Partner Violence?


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. For over 40 years, NIJ has invested in research on violence against women, intimate partner violence, and interpersonal violence, including developing a clearer understanding the factors that lead to and prevent this violence. 

This month, our research-based term is intimate partner violence. Historically called domestic violence, intimate partner violence describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former intimate partner or spouse. Types of intimate partner violence include physical violence, sexual violence, threats of physical or sexual violence, psychological/emotional violence, and stalking.  

Violence by an intimate partner is linked to both immediate and long-term health, social, and economic consequences. Factors at all levels — individual, relationship, community, and societal — contribute to intimate partner violence. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples. Preventing intimate partner violence requires reaching a clear understanding of those factors, coordinating resources, and fostering and initiating change in individuals, families, and society 

NIJ’s Term of the Month promotes research-based definitions of criminal justice terms. 


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