1. What is Intimate Partner Violence


What is Intimate Partner Violence?

The term "intimate partner violence" (IPV) refers to the use of physical abuse, including sexual violence, or emotional force or threat of physical force against current and former spouses and/or dating partners. It affects both males and females and is perpetrated by a partner, boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse, or any other person who has a close relationship with the victim.

IPV is experienced by all nationalities, education levels and ages and can occur in dating relationships, marriages or long term gay or lesbian relationships, often even after the relationship has ended.

IPV goes beyond actual physical violence and exists along a continuum from a single episode of violence to ongoing abuse and can involve: emotional abuse; the destruction of property; isolation from friends, family and other potential sources of support; stalking; and control over access to money, personal items, food, transportation and the telephone.

Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence are both forms of intimate partner violence. Click here for more information on how to recognise domestic and sexual violence and how you can help someone you know is in an abusive relationship.

Click Here for details of local and national support services

Examples of Intimate Partner Violence

• Physical Violence / Abuse: When a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting; slapping; biting; choking; shoving; punching; mutilation; burns; throwing of objects; use of weapons etc.

• Sexual Violence / Abuse: When a person forces their partner to take part in a sex act when the partner does not consent. Examples are: any form of sexual coercion (physical or emotional) or sexual degradation against an individual; incest; rape between spouses, partners or ex-partners; unwanted touching; causing pain during sex etc.

• Emotional or Psychological Violence / Abuse: When a person threatens their partner or their possessions or loved ones, or harms their partner’s sense of self-worth. Examples are: humiliation; bullying; exploitation; intimidation; psychological degradation; verbal aggression; undermining of self-esteem; name calling;  continual "put downs" etc.

• Social Violence / Abuse: When a person systematically isolates their partner from family and friends; forbidding or physically preventing the victim from going out and meeting people etc.

The Union of Students(USI) in Ireland and Cosc, The National Office for the prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence ran a campaign in late 2011 to encourage students to speak up if they know someone who has been affected by Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). Click Here for details of USI’s awareness raising campaign and Art Competition: "Speak Up Against Intimate Partner Violence"                                                            

 USI Poster Campaign  

Click Here for details of a recent Women’s Aid "2in2u" awareness raising campaign highlighting the issue of violence and abuse against young women in dating relationships.