Domestic Violence

Domestic violence (DV) is also referred to as intimate partner violence (IPV). It has many faces and effects people of every age, race, culture, educational level and socio-economic background. It occurs in all types of relationships, including gay relationships and in teen dating relationships.

It is estimated that nearly 1 in 4 women are beaten or raped by an intimate partner in their adulthood (NNEDV), yet this violence is often hidden from public view. It is one of the leading health concerns for women in the United States, it is also the leading cause of femicide and the number one cause of injuries and death in the workplace. It is also the leading cause of miscarriage, birth defects, and infant mortality.

The most comprehensive definition of domestic violence includes the following elements:

1) DV is a pattern of coercive behavior that one person uses to gain and maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

2) The person who is abusive can use many different tactics of abuse:

  • physical
  • psychological
  • spiritual
  • financial
  • emotional
  • sexual

3) The behavior is never an isolated incident, is used to repeatedly hurt and control, and often escalates in frequency and intensity.

For more information about Domestic Violence, please visit the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) website at

Further Reading:

Power and Control Wheel

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women

Clackamas Women’s Services also offers community education through materials and trainings to learn more about domestic violence.