The Frontlines of Intimate Partner Violence
What Are the Types of Abuse?
How Does Abuse Affect Development?
- Birth to 5 years: Changes in sleeping or eating habits, profound separation anxiety, inconsolable crying, reverting to earlier behaviors from a younger age, intense anxiety, aggression, or impulsiveness
- 6 to 11 years: Nightmares, aggression that results in troubled relationships with friends, emotional withdrawal or numbness, and school absence
- 12 to 18 years: Impulsive behavior like running away or substance abuse, self-destructive habits like “cutting,” emotional withdrawal and other antisocial behavior, and involvement in their own abusive relationship
How to Support Those Experiencing Violence
- What is the overall behavior between the patient and partner during the visit?
- Is there current or past depression, anxiety, or signs of chronic fatigue?
- Is there a history of substance abuse for the patient and/or partner?
- Are there signs of bruising that do not match the explanation?
- Is there a history of broken bones?
- Are there any loose teeth?
- Are there signs of patient fear from his or her partner?
- Is the partner dominating the visit, speaking for the patient, or refusing to be separated from him or her during the exam?
- Coercion and threats
- Male privilege
- Economic abuse
- Using children
- Minimizing, denying, and blaming
- Emotional abuse
Resources for Those Affected by Domestic Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence
- Domestic Shelters provides a search engine for victims of abuse to find the nearest shelter. The website breaks down shelters by the services they provide — such as emergency, housing, and counseling services.
- Love Is Respect is a resource for teens who are looking for immediate help or who are searching for information on abusive relationships.
- RAINN, or the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, operates the National Sexual Assault hotline and runs programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims, and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.
- VAWnet is a project by the National Online Resource Center on Domestic Violence to curate an online collection of searchable resources on gender-based violence and related issues.