Intimate Partner Violence

girl deals with domestic violence

“Please realize that these things DO happen. You may think to yourself ‘oh that will never be me’ and then suddenly you find yourself in a bad relationship, and a scary situation.”

Caity, survivor of intimate partner violence

Domestic violence is also known as intimate partner violence (IPV). IPV is abuse that occurs between two people in a close relationship. The term “intimate partner” includes current and former spouses and dating partners. IPV exists along a continuum from a single episode of violence to ongoing battering (1). IPV includes four types of behavior:

  • Physical abuse is when a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, burning, or other physical force.
  • Sexual abuse is forcing a partner to take part in a sex act when the partner does not consent.
  • Threats of physical or sexual abuse include the use of words, gestures, weapons, or other means to communicate the intent to cause harm.
  • Emotional abuse is threatening a partner or his or her possessions or loves ones, or harming a partner’s sense of self-worth. Examples are stalking, name-calling, intimidation, or not letting a partner see friends and family.

If you or someone you love is in a violent relationship, call these FREE hotlines open 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Utah Domestic Violence Link Line
1-800-897-LINK (5465)
Rape & Sexual Assault Crisis Line
1-888-421-1100

Utah Statistics

  • In Utah, one in 10 males and two in 11 females will be the victims of interpersonal violence. (2)
  • Data from U.S. crime reports suggest that 16% (about 1 in 6) of homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner and that nearly half of female homicide victims in the U.S. are killed by a current or former male intimate partner. (3)
  • In Utah, one in four adult homicides are related to domestic violence. (4)
  • Exposure to domestic violence is an Adverse Childhood Experience.

Teen Dating Violence Data

In 2017, among Utah teens who were dating or going out with someone:

  • More than one in four (26.5%) students were verbally or emotionally harmed by someone they were dating or going out with one or more times during the past 12 months (33.2% of females and 19.7% of males).
  • More than one out of every 11 students were forced by someone they were dating or going out with to do sexual things they did not want to do during the past 12 months.
  • Almost twice as many females (9.6% of females compared to 5.1% of males) students were physically hurt on purpose by someone they were dating or going out with one or more times during the past 12 months.

Ways to Prevent Relationship Violence

  • Learn and demonstrate health relationships behaviors.
  • Increase effective communication skills.
  • Develop healthy conflict resolution skills.
  • Support income equality policies.
  • Become connected with your community.
  • Seek social support.

What are the warning signs that someone is in a violent relationship?

Victims

  • Sudden changes in appearance
  • Avoids contact with family and friends
  • Spends all of free time with abuser
  • Cries a lot; moody
  • Is very stressed with physical symptoms
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Defends abuser and his/her actions

Abusers

  • Sudden and drastic mood swings
  • Acts macho or cocky
  • Jealous and controlling
  • Cruelty to animals and/or children
  • History of battering
  • Constantly checking on partner
  • Blames others for his/her problems

What can you do if you’re in a violent dating relationship?

  • Decide that any abuse is too much
  • Tell someone you are being abused
  • Document your injuries
  • Call a local hotline for help
  • Fill out a personalized safety plan
  • Remember that it is NOT your fault you are being abused

How can you help a loved one who is in a violent dating relationship?

  • Learn all you can about abuse
  • Teach your loved one about abuse
  • Document the injuries you see
  • Call a local hotline for more resources
  • Listen to your loved one
  • Be patient!

References

  1. Utah Department of Health, Office of Public Health Assessment. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).
  2. Utah Department of Health, Office of Public Health Assessment. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).
  3. Breiding, M. J., Chen J., & Black, M. C. (2014). Intimate partner violence in the United States — 2010. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  4. Violence and Injury Prevention Program. Intimate Partner and Domestic Violence Fatalities in Utah 2009-2016. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah Department of Health, 2020.