The term “intimate partner violence” describes physical violence, sexual violence, stalking and psychological aggression (including coercive acts) by a current or former intimate partner.
An intimate partner is a person with whom one has a close personal relationship that can be characterized by the following:
*The relationship need not involve all of these dimensions.
Examples of intimate partners include current or former spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends, dating partners, or sexual partners. IPV can occur between heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy.
IPV can vary in frequency and severity. It occurs on a continuum, ranging from one episode that might or might not have lasting impact to chronic and severe episodes over a period of years.
There are four main types of IPV.
CDC Publication: Intimate Partner Violence Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Data Elements, Version 2.0[1.75 MB, 164 Pages, 508] Cover of IPV-Surveillance-report-2015
Sexual violence: includes rape, being made to penetrate someone else, sexual coercion (non-physically pressured sex), unwanted sexual contact (such as groping), and non-contact unwanted sexual experiences (such as verbal harassment). Contact sexual violence is a combined measure that includes rape, being made to penetrate someone else, sexual coercion, and/or unwanted sexual contact.
Stalking: victimization involves a pattern of harassing or threatening tactics used by a perpetrator that is both unwanted and causes fear or safety concerns in the victim.
Physical violence: includes a range of behaviors from slapping, pushing or shoving to severe acts that include hit with a fist or something hard, kicked, hurt by pulling hair, slammed against something, tried to hurt by choking or suffocating, beaten, burned on purpose, used a knife or gun.
Psychological Aggression: includes expressive aggression (such as name calling, insulting or humiliating an intimate partner) and coercive control, which includes behaviors that are intended to monitor and control or threaten an intimate partner.