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Intimate Partner Violence

Definition: (sometimes called domestic violence or dating violence) Any physical violence, sexual violence/assault, stalking, or psychological aggression (including coercive acts) by a current or former intimate* partner.

*Please note: “intimate” does not only refer to a long-term, sexual relationship but also includes romantic relationships and casual/dating relationships.

Abuse can happen to anyone regardless of race, economic status, gender, sexual orientation, or where one lives. People stay in abusive relationships for many reasons, including fear, belief that their abuser needs help and will change, and because they care about the person.

No one deserves to be in an abusive relationship. 

Types of IPV

Often, when people think of intimate partner violence, the first thing that comes to mind is physical violence.  While physical violence is one aspect of intimate partner violence, IPV can occur in several different ways.  Often, emotional abuse is the first sign of an unhealthy or abusive relationship, rather than physical violence.  IPV can occur as emotional, physical, financial, sexual, verbal, or spiritual abuse.  


  • A woman is beaten every 9 seconds in the U.S.
  • Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.
  • One in six (16%) college women has been sexually abused in a dating relationship.
  • A survivor leaving an abusive relationship is 75% more likely to be murdered; leaving is the most dangerous time for a survivor.  On average, it takes survivors 8-9 attempts to leave an abusive partner before being successful; with each attempt, the danger increases.

Oppression is a root cause of gender-based violence.  Individuals with minoritized identities often experience higher rates of gender-based violence because perpetrators of violence intentionally abuse individuals who they perceive as accessible, vulnerable, and less credible in our society.

  • An estimated 29.1% of African American women are victimized by intimate partner
    violence in their lifetime.
  • 41-60% of Asian and Pacific Islander women reported experiencing intimate partner violence during their lifetimes.
  • The National Violence Against Women Survey (NVAWS) found that Native American/Alaskan Indian women and men report higher rates of intimate partner
    violence than do women and men from other minoritized backgrounds.
  • Individuals with alter-abilities/disabilities experience higher rates of intimate partner violence than those without alter-abilities/disabilities.

Support & Resources

If you have experienced or are currently experiencing intimate partner violence, resources are available to you

If you are supporting someone who is in an abusive relationship, the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) provides resources for individuals who are supporting a friend or loved one in an abusive relationship.