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What is Intimate Partner Violence?

Spot the Warning Signs of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

The term intimate partner violence (IPV) is used to describe abuse and aggression in a close relationship. IPV can take many forms, including physical violence, psychological abuse, sexual abuse and stalking. The victims of IPV often suffer long after the abuse and aggression is over. In fact, many IPV victims develop chronic mental health problems such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Anyone can fall victim to IPV. The best way to protect yourself is to learn how to spot the warning signs of this abusive behavior. Here are some of the things you should look out for in your close relationships.

Physically aggressive

One of the most obvious signs of IPV is physically aggressive behavior. There is no excuse for hitting, shoving, slapping, punching or pushing someone. It doesn't matter whether or not your partner apologizes after physically hurting you--it's not safe for you to stay in a relationship with someone who exhibits these behaviors.

Attempts to isolate you

Your partner should never try to isolate you from your friends or family. An abusive partner will use this tactic to create distance between you and your support system. Doing this ensures that you will not have anyone to turn to for help in the event you need advice or want to leave the relationship.

Isolation can occur in many ways. Some abusive partners encourage their significant others to stay home or skip social events. Others may even try to control the amount of time their significant others spend on their phones in an effort to isolate them even further from their loved ones.

Minimizes your feelings

Does your partner repeatedly accuse you of lying or overreacting even when you know your feelings are valid? This is a warning sign of IPV. Minimizing your emotions is a form of manipulation. Ultimately, this could cause you to question your own thoughts, feelings and emotions. You may even start to believe that your thoughts, feelings and emotions no longer matter.

It's important to feel understood and accepted in a relationship. If your feelings are minimized repeatedly, it's time to rethink your relationship.

Makes various types of threats

It's common for abusive partners to make threats. Some threats are physical in nature, whereas others are not. For example, an abusive partner could threaten to hurt you, someone else or themselves. Abusive partners may also threaten to leave you, take your children away or report you to the police.

You should never feel threatened in any way by your partner. If your partner uses threats to influence your behavior, this is a sign of an unhealthy relationship .

Unpredictable moods

People who are emotionally abusive often create chaos in an effort to keep others in check. They may start arguments for no reason, drastically change moods or have random emotional outbursts.

Being around someone with unpredictable moods is like walking through a minefield--you never know when there will be an explosion. No one should live in this type of environment. Everyone has good days and bad days, but if your partner's moods change rapidly and drastically, this is a sign of IPV.

The caring therapists at Foundations Counseling can help you and your family overcome life's greatest challenges. Contact us today!