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What is Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence?

Domestic violence (DV) is a term used to describe the abuse of spouse or child in the home while intimate partner violence (IPV) is a subset that includes dating partners and former spouses or dating partners. The Center for Disease Control recognizes both DV and IPV as public health issues. As a public health issue, DV and IPV impacts both men (1 in 7) and women (1 in 5) in the United States. Homicide statistics involving IPV and DV are troubling. Sixteen percent of homicides involve current or former spouses or partners. For women, 50% of all homicides are DV or IPV incidents. The pandemic has increased the risk for more incidents as well as homicides. During the pandemic, victims are often forced to be in constant close proximity to their abusers and often have limited access to resources. So, what can you do to participate in reducing DV and IPV in your community?
According to the Women’s Center in Waukesha, “Learn, Listen, Share.” When you listen to a survivor, do not be judgmental. If you are victim, listen to your own voice. The Women’s Center offers the following statements to open dialogue and to validate the story of victims:
“I believe you.”
“It wasn’t your fault.”
“I’m sorry that this happened to you.”
“Can I help?”
“What do you need?”
If your or someone you care about is a victim of Domestic Violence or Intimate Partner Violence, you can locate local resources using the interactive map at www.endabusewi.org or call the Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. If you are between the ages of 18-26 and are concerned if your relationship is healthy, contact Love Is Respect at 1-866-331-9474 (www.loveisrespect.org).