When talking about adolescent intimate partner violence, a variety of terms are used, including abuse, teen dating violence, partner violence, domestic violence, and relationship violence. Some adolescents may be involved in same-sex relationships. As such it is important to use terms that are inclusive and gender neutral to recognize the diversity of relationships.
Adolescent IPV is a pattern of coercive behavior exerted by one partner over the other with the goal of establishing and maintaining power and control. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are four major types of violence:
- Physical violence – the intentional use of physical force with the potential for causing death, disability, injury, or harm. Physical violence includes but is not limited to behaviors such as hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, biting, pushing, pulling hair, throwing objects at or using a weapon against a partner.
- Sexual violence – is divided into three categories: 1) use of physical force to compel a person to engage in a sexual act against his or her will, whether or not the act is completed; 2) attempted or completed sex act involving a person who is unable to understand the nature or condition of the act, to decline participation, or to communicate unwillingness to engage in the sexual act, e.g., because of illness, disability, or the influence of alcohol or other drugs, or because of intimidation or pressure; and 3) abusive sexual contact.
- Threats of physical or sexual violence – use of words, gestures, or weapons to communicate the intent to cause death, disability, injury or harm.
- Emotional/Psychological violence – includes behaviors such as humiliation, threats, intimidation to control one’s partner, verbal threats, including name calling and put downs. The partner may control how and with whom the other person spends time, limiting what they can wear, checking up on them frequently, and making them feel that they cannot leave the relationship. This form of violence may also include controlling how money is spent, using partner’s credit cards or money without their permission, creating debt in partner’s name, and pressuring the partner to use their income to support the abuser’s lifestyle/needs. Typically, this form of abuse is the first to give signals of abuse. As the relationship continues, the abuse may escalate to physical and/or sexual violence. In addition, stalking is often included among the types of IPV. According to researchers at the Department of Justice, stalking generally refers to "harassing or threatening behavior that an individual engages in repeatedly, such as following a person, appearing at a person's home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or objects, or vandalizing a person's property."
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