What is IPV? What do those letters stand for? What does it mean? Are you wondering what it has to do with domestic violence? I.P.V. is the abbreviation for Intimate Partner Violence.

The definition of IPV, or intimate partner violence, as shared by the CDC is this: Intimate partner violence—also called domestic violence, battering, or spouse abuse: Violence committed by a spouse, ex-spouse, or current or former boyfriend or girlfriend. It occurs among both heterosexual and same-sex couples and is often a repeated offense. Both men and women are victims of IPV. 

Straight, gay, male, female – DV really doesn’t care who or what you are.

You might find it interesting to learn that intimate partner violence statistics are the same between women and gay/bisexual/transgender males. The chances of either becoming a victim of intimate partner violence are from 1 in 4 to possibly 1 in 3… yes, possibly 1/3 of all women and gay men will become a victim of intimate partner violence during their lifetime, at the hands of their partner.

This expands the parameters for intimate partner violence and/or domestic violence to encompass violent acts that take place in unmarried couples, dating couples and same sex couples. It includes physical and sexual violence perpetrated by one significant other upon their significant other. Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) can be perpetrated by a male upon a female, a female upon a male, male upon male or female upon female. It’s time we took our heads out of the sand and recognize that domestic violence is at epidemic proportions throughout all manner of intimate partnerships.

Date rape? IPV! Boyfriend smacking or grabbing girlfriend? IPV! And yes, girlfriend stalking boyfriend is part of the picture of domestic violence. It also includes verbal and emotional abuse. Threats of harm, attempted but unsuccessful harm—both fall into the category of domestic abuse, or IPV.

Can a wife be raped by her husband? You bet’cha. It occurs somewhere every day of the year—to more than one victim, perhaps more than once to the same victim.

IPV costs Americans billions of dollars annually in medical bills, mental health counseling and increased insurance premiums. That is only taking into account the reported incidents. Most go unreported, so one must wonder if we will ever be in a position to get the real picture, the true count on the damage done by intimate partner violence, whether in dollars, or in lives.

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  1. Caroyln, thanks for shedding light on a very important aspect of DV; most people don’t recognize or acknowledge that violence occurs against hetero men by women and between gay/lesbian couples as well. There is no “typical” DV victim: it can and does happen to people of all backgrounds.

    • Carolyn S. Hennecy says:

      Thank YOU, Bree, for visiting the website, reading the blog post and caring enough to leave a comment. We are all in this together, whether we think we are, or want to be. Every day we are affected in some manner, whether we know the victim or not. Billions of dollars spent each year are proof of just one manner of how IPV affects us all.

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