VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System (VCB)
What's “IPV” & “Domestic Violence"
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month:
What is “Intimate Partner Violence” and “Domestic Violence?”
HARLINGEN, Texas -- As we continue into the second week of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I would like to share some information on what is “Intimate Partner Violence” and “Domestic Violence.”
The term “intimate partner violence” (IPV) describes:
Psychological aggression by a current or former intimate partner.
It can vary in frequency and severity. It occurs on a continuum, ranging from one episode that might or might not have lasting impact to chronic and severe episodes over a period of years. It can happen to anyone no matter your age, income, ethnicity, culture, religion, or disability.
IPV includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:
• Physical violence: hitting, pushing, grabbing, biting, choking/strangulating, shaking, slapping, kicking, hair-pulling and restraining.
• Sexual violence: attempted or actual sexual contact when the partner does not want to or is unable to consent (for example, when affected by alcohol or illness).
• Threat of physical or sexual abuse: ways to cause fear through words, look, actions or weapons.
• Psychological or emotional abuse: name calling, humiliating, putting you down, keeping you from friends and family, bullying, controlling where you go or what you wear.
• Stalking: following, harassing, or unwanted contact that makes you feel afraid.
The term “domestic violence” (DV) describes:
This is the most common term used when it comes to intimate partner violence. It is an older term and it more accurately refers to any violence or abuse that occurs within the “domestic sphere” or “at home”, and may include child abuse, elder abuse, and other types of interpersonal violence (Wallace, 2004).
Veterans who experience IPV may have some of the following signs/symptoms:
Apart from deaths and injuries, physical violence by IPV is associated with several adverse health outcomes. Health conditions associated with IPV as a direct result of the physical violence include: bruises, knife wounds, broken bones, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), pelvic pain, and headaches. Other conditions are the result of the impact of IPV are: cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, endocrine, and immune systems through chronic stress or other mechanisms. Psychological problems may be: depression, anxiety, sleep problems, feelings of shame, self-blame, homicide/suicide, substance abuse, misuse of prescriptions, stress, anger/aggression, and difficulty concentrating. Social problems: Avoiding or impaired relationships, divorce/separation, loss of support, isolation, intimacy issues, work disruption, housing disruption, legal/justice involvement, and problems with trust. Economic problems: financial problems, loss of work, poor work performance, tardiness, homelessness, and absences.
For anonymous, confidential help 24/7, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) for deaf or hard of hearing individuals. Help is available, and you are not alone. If you are interested in improving your current relationship, reach out to the IPV Assistance Program coordinator here at VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System (VCB) at 956-618-7100, extension 67092.