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Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the general term used to describe abuse that takes place within current or former boyfriend/girlfriend relationships (also known as “dating violence”) or between spouses or domestic partners (also known as “domestic violence”).

PV can be just one episode of violence or it can be a long-term, repeated occurrence in a relationship.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, IPV includes four types of behavior:

- Physical violence is when a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, or other type of physical force.
- Sexual violence is forcing a partner to take part in a sex act when the partner does not consent.
- Threats of physical or sexual violence include the use of words, gestures, weapons, or other means to communicate the intent to cause harm.
- Emotional abuse is threatening a partner or his or her possessions or loved ones, or harming a partner’s sense of self-worth. Examples are stalking, name-calling, intimidation, or not letting a partner see friends and family.