Intimate partner violence is a kind of violence committed by an intimate partner (boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, etc) that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm… sometimes it causes all of these things. The word violence in intimate partner violence isn’t just about hitting or punching. Intimate partner violence is when someone is trying to gain power and control over their partner and it comes in many different forms.
WHAT ARE SOME TYPES OF ABUSE?
- Physical abuse – being subjected to physical harm such as slapping, pushing, punching, kicking, choking, throwing objects or using weapons (it includes harming children and/or pets)
- Sexual abuse – being coerced or forced into unwanted sexual acts, unwanted sexting
- Emotional abuse – being criticised, put down, ridiculed, blamed for things that may go wrong, threatened with physical violence, excessive or threatening texts
- Social abuse – being isolated from family and friends, criticism of your family and friends, being constantly checked up on and always having to explain where you are going, who you are with and what you are doing, checking phones, use of technologies and/or social media networking to intimidate, harass or make threats, demanding passwords to phone/ email/ networking sites
- Financial abuse – your access to money is limited or controlled by your partner
- Spiritual and Cultural abuse – using religion to justify abuse, force forgiveness or control a person to stay in a relationship; culture and/or beliefs are mocked
- Psychological Abuse – minimising and blaming, manipulating and ‘crazy making’ (You’re crazy, I didn’t say/do that.)
- Stalking – stalking on Facebook or other social media sites, repeated unwanted texts/ visits/ emails/ phone calls, repeated watching, following or visits.
Intimate partner violence can happen to anyone, regardless of the type of the relationship, your age, cultural background, sexual orientation, educational achievement, disability /ability or income.
WHAT CAN I DO IF MY PARTNER IS ABUSIVE?
Well, first thing first – it is not your fault. Though you might be feeling ashamed, humiliated, guilty… (and probably a million other things too) abuse is always the fault of the abuser.
Second thing is, you aren’t alone. There is help available and it comes in many different forms. Depending on your situation you may need to explore your options until you find the help you need.
Some options that may suit you include:
- Confiding in a close friend or trusted family member
- Talking to teachers or support staff (Guidance Officer, School Nurse, Youth Worker) about your concerns
- Calling a support service for a confidential discussion
- Checking out some online support
If you or a friend are hurt or in danger, call the police/ambulance on triple zero (000) for immediate assistance.
If the person you talk to doesn’t offer you the help or support you were looking for, try a different person/ avenue.