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National Victim Assistance Academy Resource Paper: Intimate Partner Violence

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2012
22 pages
Publication Series
After providing a summary of statistics on the prevalence and features of intimate-partner violence (IPV) in the United States, this paper defines terms used in discussions of IPV, followed by sections that address IPV's unique impact/effects on victims, effective responses for victim support and advocacy, cultural issues and barriers to reporting IPV and accessing victims services, and collaborative responses and resources.
In the United States in 2010, violent crimes against both males and females by intimate partners totaled 509,230 (13.4 percent of violent crimes). As used in this paper, IPV is defined as "a pattern of abusive behavior that is used by an intimate partner to assert power and control over his or her partner." Intimate partners are defined as current or former spouses and boyfriends or girlfriends, including same-sex relationships. In discussing the "Unique Impact/Effects on Victims," the paper considers the physical, psychological, and social impacts of IPV. IPV's impact on health considers detrimental coping behaviors, such as alcohol/drug abuse, unhealthy diet, and overuse of health services. A discussion of effective responses for IPV victim support and advocacy encompasses medical and mental health treatment and advocacy for victim services in the course of justice-system case processing. Safety planning for protecting victims from further victimization by the perpetrator is also discussed. In order to provide effective victim services, victim service providers are advised to develop their ability to validate the feelings, experiences, concerns, and fears of IPV victims. A section on "Cultural Competence and Barriers to Reporting and Accessing Services" notes that culture has a significant impact on responses to IPV in the areas of prevention, response, education, and awareness of the nature and impacts of IPV. The paper's concluding section emphasizes the importance of collaborative responses and resources in responding to IPV. 29 notes

Date Published: September 1, 2012