About violence

Definitions of violence

Intimate partner violence

The terms “domestic violence” and “intimate partner violence” are used interchangeably in daily communication. Domestic violence can take many forms, often involving multiple types simultaneously. For example, physical violence can also be mental violence, and sexual violence is mostly physical but can also involve coercion to watch pornography, make sexual innuendos, or speak inappropriately.

Intimate partner violence is perpetrated by someone close to the victim, such as a partner, family member, child, parent, or caregiver. The victim and perpetrator do not need to be in a relationship or live together for the violence to be classified as intimate partner violence. The violence is not limited to the perpetrator’s or victim’s home nor their gender.

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Sexual violence

Sexual violence can occur in intimate relationships or among strangers but is often committed by someone known and trusted. It involves any action that infringes on a person’s sexual autonomy, including coercion, excessive pressure to participate in sexual activities, institutional violence, prostitution, digital sexual violence, rape, and sexual harassment. Sexual violence doesn’t always involve physical force or contact but can include any unwanted sexual behavior.

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Psychological violence

Psychological violence can manifest through verbal exchanges or body language and includes actions like name-calling, shouting, humiliation, isolating the victim from others, controlling behavior or clothing, destroying property, threatening harm, or causing the victim to doubt their experiences. It can occur alongside physical violence or exist independently, leading to serious and impactful consequences.

Gaslighting is a form of psychological violence that can undermine the victim’s reality by denying facts and feelings to control them.

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Physical violence

Physical violence involves using force against another person, whether or not it results in injury. It includes restraining physical needs or denying necessary physical services.

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Digital violence

Digital violence is perpetrated through digital media or devices, including harassment, extortion, threats, identity theft, distribution of personal data, and sharing photos or videos without consent.

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Financial violence

Financial violence occurs when someone swindles money, takes money from the victim, denies access to money, or controls how money is spent. It can also prevent the victim from earning income, such as by obstructing their ability to work or causing them to lose their job.

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Important resources

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