What is Intimate Partner Violence?
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), also commonly known as domestic violence or dating abuse, is when a partner or former partner maintains power and control over the other person using a pattern of inappropriate and manipulative behaviors. These behaviors can relate to physical, verbal, emotional, digital, sexual, and/or financial abuse, as well as stalking.
Intimate partner violence does not discriminate and affects people regardless of all gender expressions, races, and/or ethnicities, sexual orientation, religious affiliations, economic status, and more. Learn to recognize the signs and red flags of an abusive relationship and ask for help when you or a loved one may be in an unhealthy or dangerous situation.
More than 1 in 3 women, 1 in 2 trans and nonbinary individuals, and 1 in 4 men in the United States has experienced some form of intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
Recognizing Red Flags
Some red flags begin very early in a relationship. These early signs of intimate partner violence can be very subtle. Oftentimes, these signs can go unnoticed or are romanticized in our culture. If you think you may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, our trained staff can help. Call our 24-HR Hotline at 301-662-8800.
Name calling or putting you down
Telling you what you can or cannot do
Needing to know your physical location at all times
Preventing you from spending time with friends or loved ones
Monitoring phone use
Using social media to stalk you
Using jealousy as an excuse to control your behaviors
Humiliating you, especially in front of others
Explosive or uncontrollable temper
Questioning your recollection of facts, feelings, or events (gaslighting)
Threats and/or intimidation to hurt you, your possessions, or your loved ones (including pets)
Constant communication through texts and/or calls
Forcing you to perform sexual acts that you are not comfortable with
How to Support a Loved One
When a friend or loved one is a survivor of Intimate Partner Violence, it is important to offer trauma informed support. Even well-intentioned conversations, questions, and suggestions can cause the survivor to feel judged and isolated from their social support network. There are ways to safely intervene to protect those around you and potentially save lives.
Establish trust with the survivor by telling them that you believe them and their story.
Encourage them, but do not force them to seek help. Many survivors contemplate getting help and leaving their abusive partner several times before actually leaving.
Know your own limitations. If you need support while supporting a loved one, we have trained professionals who can speak with you. Call the 24-hour hotline at 301-662-8800.
Educate yourself on the local resources that are available to the survivor.
Safety plan with your loved one.
Know if and when to involve outside authorities.
Offer unconditional support.
Heartly House Resource Guides
Interested in Learning more?
Our online resources can help you to understand, identify, and prevent abuse.