About Domestic Violence
“Domestic violence,” also called dating violence, relationship violence, spousal abuse, battering or interpersonal violence (IPV), is physical, sexual, or psychological harm, including stalking, that is committed against a person by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy. IPV is a pattern of abusive behavior: physical (e.g., striking, shoving, kicking, punching, strangling, restraining); sexual (rape, sexual assault); emotional (e.g., isolation from friends and family, verbal abuse); and psychological (e.g., threats of harm to partner or self, a third party, pets or property; humiliation, degradation and harassment) that is used by one person to gain power and control over a current or former spouse or intimate partner, or current or former dating partner, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
IPV is a significant public health problem that can have devastating effects on individuals, families and communities. There are many negative health outcomes associated with IPV. These include a range of conditions affecting the heart, digestive, reproductive, muscle and bones, nervous systems, suicidal ideations, sexually transmitted infections, gynecological and prenatal complications, many of which are chronic in nature. There are emotional and psychological consequences, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, binge drinking, substance abuse and PTSD.
The highest rates of IPV occur in women of childbearing age, a time when early screening, detection and intervention may increase personal safety. The impact on children exposed to IPV has wide implications, including increased risk for physical, sexual, emotional neglect, harm and death.
— Centers for Disease Control and Prevention