Intimate Partner Violence

Physical, sexual, or phycological harm, or threat of harm, by a current or former partner. 

Take a quick quiz about your relationship to learn more!

Warning Signs 

Intimate Partner Violence can include any of the following abusive behaviors, or a combination of them.

  • Isolating you from friends and family.
  • Calling or texting to find out where you are, who you are with and what you are doing.
  • Telling you how to dress or act. 
  • Showing up unexpectedly at your work, outside your classes, or social events in order to know what you are doing.

Verbal and Emotional abuse:

  • Belittling you, both privately and/ or publicly.
  • Displaying extreme jealousy over friends, co-workers, class-mates, family members, etc.
  • Threatening physical harm.

Physical Abuse:

  • Punching
  • Slapping
  • Shoving
  • Hitting
  • Kicking
  • Hair pulling
  • Choking

Sexual Abuse:

  • Touching and kissing you without consent.
  • Forcing you to do unwanted sexual acts.
  • Taking control of your reproductive health.

Does Violence Occur in Same-Sex Relationships?

Yes. In fact, same-sex relationship violence is as common as heterosexual relationship violence. The elements of abusive relationships are similar for heterosexual and homosexual couples.

Are Men Ever Abused by their Female Partners?

Yes, men can be abused by partners, regardless of gender.

Violent Relationships vs. Non-Violent Relationships

Staying Safe

  • Trust your instincts–if you don’t feel safe or fear the person you are with, seek help.
  • Try to have dates or social activities in groups rather than alone.
  • Tell someone–it is best that another trusted and capable adult know the situation.
  • Create a safe plan– create a plan in case you decide to leave the relationship.
  • You can talk to someone and get help at the Aggie Health & Wellness Center or La Casa the community’s local domestic violence shelter and services.

How to Help a Friend

  • Let your friend know that you are worried, but don’t judge them.
  • Encourage them to seek help or provide them with resources.
  • Listen to them.
  • Don’t try to confront the abusive/violent partner.
  • Use bystander intervention if you see an act of violence happening or about to happen.
  • Help them develop a safety plan if they choose to leave the relationship. 
  • Be there for them as many times as needed.

The Cycle of Violence

In most cases of intimate partner violence, there is a cycle within the behaviors of the abuser.

Typically the cycle consists of three phases:

  • Tension Building: Growing tension; minor incidents of abuse; “walking on eggshells”
  • Explosion: Episodes of abuse
  • Honeymoon Phase: Apologizing, makes promises, idealized and romantic, sharing gifts or flowers

The cycle continues due to denial, blame and minimization of the incidents of abuse. As the cycle continues, the battering stage gets longer as the honeymoon stage shrinks. The cycle is broken when a victim is able to leave the relationship or is killed by the abusive partner. 

You Have the Right…

  • To be safe
  • To say “yes”
  • To say “no”
  • To suggest activities
  • To refuse any activities
  • To have your values and limits respected
  • To have friends and space aside from your partner
  • To change your mind
  • To cultivate new friendships outside your relationship with your partner
  • To better yourself as a person through means of education, employment or otherwise

When You’re Ready to Leave…

You do have a choice to leave. The danger of leaving an abusive situation is real. Here are some ways to carefully plan and prepare a safe exit, should you choose to leave:

  • Have an emergency bag ready with driver’s license, social security card, birth certificates, medical cards, bank papers, immigration papers, an extra set of car keys, pre-paid phone card and any other legal documents in a safe place–even if it’s not inside your house.
  • Turn off location services for all electronic devices. 
  • Know where all exits are in the house. Practice exit routes.
  • Have a “safe place” to go to. This may be a shelter, a neighbor’s house, a family member’s house, a hotel, church, police or fire station, or anywhere you feel safe.
  • Do not attempt to leave when your partner is at home.
  • Do not tell anyone about your exit plan. Not even your children. Not even when things are good between you and your partner.
  • Think about how and when is a good time to leave. When you feel it is safe, leave and seek help.
  • Even if this may not be your first time leaving, don’t blame yourself. You have the right to live a healthy and safe life.
  • Ask for help.
  • Let others know that the relationship is over.
  • Find out what legal steps you can take to protect yourself, loved ones and property.