Healthy Living Blog – Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Awareness
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It’s a time to draw attention to the seriousness of domestic violence and to promote efforts to stop it. Domestic violence can affect people of any race, gender, sexuality, class, and religion. It happens within families living in the same household, friendships, and intimate relationships. Domestic violence includes physical, psychological, sexual, and economic abuse onto the victim.
Violence within intimate relationships is called intimate partner violence (IPV) and is under the umbrella of domestic violence. An “intimate partner” can be current or former spouses and dating partners. Women between the ages of 18-24 most commonly experience IPV. It’s important to understand that domestic violence and IPV can start early and continue throughout life, which is why it’s critical for young adults to know how to prevent violence.
How common is IPV?
Sadly, IPV is common and affects millions of people in the U.S. per year.
- About 1 in 4 women (25%) and 1 in 10 men (10%) have experienced IPV during their lifetime. This includes physical violence, sexual violence, and stalking by an intimate partner.
- Over 43 million women and 38 million men experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
- Women are more likely than men to be victims of physical (32% of women) and sexual violence (16% of women).
- Native American and Alaska Native women have the highest percentage of being victims to IPV.
- LGBTQ+ people have an increased risk of intimate partner violence, most especially lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women.
Warning signs of domestic abuse and IPV
If your partner:
- Controls what you’re doing.
- Goes through your belongings without permission or even destroys your stuff. This can include hiding or destroying your important documents such as your passport, Social Security card, or immigration papers.
- Forces you to have sex.
- Isolates you from others. They can prevent you from going to work or seeing your family and friends.
- Threatens to hurt or is physically hurting you, your children, or your loved ones.
- Blames you for their violent behavior.
- Threatens to hurt themselves.
- Threatens to call the authorities on you for imagined crimes.
For LGBTQ+ people, your partner may:
- Threaten to “out you” to family, friends, and employers, especially if you have not told others about your sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Tell you that the authorities won’t help someone who is LGBTQ+.
- Force you to do sexual acts that “prove” your sexual orientation or gender identity.
How to get help
There are many community resources for domestic violence and IPV survivors in Santa Clara County.
At AACI, the Asian Women’s Home (AWH) provides a 24/7 emergency shelter and crisis hotline for domestic violence survivors. AWH is the only domestic violence shelter in Santa Clara County that focuses on the Pan-Asian community with staff who can speak various languages and dialects, though survivors of all ethnic backgrounds can access services, which include:
- A 24-hour crisis and information hotline at (408) 975-2739.
- A 24-hour emergency 10-bed shelter.
- An online chat system through Safe Chat Silicon Valley: safechatsv.org
- Assistance through the San Jose Family Justice Center, located at the East San Jose location.
- Comprehensive case management including housing assistance and other support services.
Preventing domestic violence and IPV
Here are ways to help stop domestic violence:
- Support a family member or friend if they are in an abusive relationship. This can include calling 911 if you see or hear violence or helping them create a safety plan.
- Get 40-hour trained and volunteer at a local domestic violence shelter. We have opportunities for you at AACI Asian Women’s Home!
- Advocate for anti-violence policies and programs. This can be at work and in community colleges and universities. It can also be at the local, state, and federal government levels so that violence can be prevented in the long-term.
Have questions or curious to learn more? Contact AACI Asian Women’s Home by calling our 24-hour hotline (408) 975-2739 and make an appointment to meet with a trained advocate.