what is Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)?

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a phenomenon which occurs in the course of a relationship, when the couple separates, or after they have separated. It is a phenomenon that affects all communities our society. There are many types of IPV, but they all share in common behaviors that are controlling, induce fear, demean the partner, and constrain her freedom of action and choice (the abused partner is most often a woman). Intimate partner violence takes a heavy toll on the victims, their families, and society at large. It is vital to identify and prevent this abuse.

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Typical Behaviors of intimate partner violence

Partners can be violent in varied ways that are both physical and emotional:

Emotional abuse

Mental suffering may be caused by frequent criticism and harangues; ignoring, insulting, demeaning and shouting at one’s partner, acting manipulatively and playing power games.

Financial abuse

Seizing assets, imposing financial dependence: taking control of the couple’s joint resources, hiding information about finances and the way they may be utilized, preventing a partner from utilizing financial resources independently.

Isolation and stalking

Preventing a partner from contact with social circles, cutting off their contact with family, friends and the broader community, limiting their freedom of movement and tracking their movements, either by stalking or tracking them with technology, including monitoring their social networks and media

Coercive control and restrictions

Placing limitations on the partners free will and desires by force, through threats or emotional manipulation; Acting with suspicion and jealousy in ways that limits the partner’s freedom; limiting the partner’s access to education, employment, health, culture; and a wide range of controlling behaviors.

Religious and spiritual violence

Abuse by invoking or denying religious practices and restrictions: exploiting religion to abuse, demean and control; belittling spiritual or religious behaviors; forcing or preventing religious activity; or forcing the partner to breach religious commands the partner observes.

Sexual violence

Violations of physical autonomy, forcing sexual acts without the consent of the partner or against the person’s will, by means of threats or manipulation.

Physical violence

Violation of the partner’s physical safety, harming or threatening to harm people, objects, pets and property, using force or weapons.

Other types of violence

Manipulative misuse of social service, religious and legal institution, and other acts of abuse and control. Refusal to grant a religious divorce (Get), manipulative use of children, exploiting the dependence of a partner due to civil-legal status, and other abuses.

How to distinguish between reasonable behavior and domestic abuse

It is possible to perceive abuse as normal behavior between partners: control as an expression of concern, obsessive jealousy as romantic, over-dependence interpreted as great love. There are three clear differences between reasonable behavior and abuse:


the partner who is the object of the behavior feels restricted or threathened, that the person "has to walk on eggshells", they feel repressed, afraid, anxious, worthless.


one or both partners hide the dynamics of their relationship from those around them, leading to growing isolation from social circles at work, friends, spiritual community.

Gradual escalation

the frequency, scope, and seriousness of the various behaviors constantly grows.

איך לזהות אלימות בזוגיות? How can I identify intimate partner violence كيف نكشف عن عنف بين الازواج؟
איך לזהות אלימות בזוגיות? How can I identify intimate partner violence كيف نكشف عن عنف بين الازواج؟

The forces that sustain the problem of intimate partner violence

Intimate partner violence is enabled and escalates due to silent compliance, concealment and “justifications” by the couple and those in their immediate circles

The victim’s:
  • The volatile dynamic of violent relationships often includes gestures of reconciliation, prolonging hope for change
  • A sense of guilt, fear, shame, emotional dependence, economic dependence, concern for the welfare of the children
  • Pressure to comply with family, communal and social expectations
The abuser’s:
  • Shame, the desire to maintain personal status and self-image
  • Dependence and vulnerability
  • A system of denial and justification that put the blame on the victim
The family and community:
  • People who surround the couple keep silent, and sometimes impose silence on the victims, or they cooperate or justify the abusive behavior for varied reasons:
  • Lack of awareness about the nature of the problem and ways to address it
  • Fear, sense of helplessness
  • Unwillingness to intervene in what they perceive as the private space of the couple.
  • Traditional or cultural norms, or justifications such as “honor”, “romantic behavior”, and blaming the victim.

Who suffers from Intimate Partner Violence and how is it manifested

Intimate partner violence causes short and long-term mental and physical harm, to the victim and other family members, particularly children. The constant tension, shame and anxiety damage the victims’ self-image and health, interfere with their daily routines, influencing them to avoid action and activities. They experience increased loneliness, fatigue, helplessness, loss of sense of self, guilt and an inability to plan ahead. The consequences of intimate partner violence may be seen immediately or years later as post-traumatic responses.

Children exposed to intimate partner violence suffer serious harm, both when they are children and later, as adults. They tend to perpetuate the abusive behavior in their own relationships, as victim or abuser.

How does society influence intimate partner violence and how is society affected by it?

Many social components shape the problem of intimate partner violence: social and cultural norms regarding intimate partnerships and family relationships, perceptions of masculinity and femininity, levels of violence in society, power gaps, and social, financial, and physical inequalities between men  and women. gender inequality.

The impact of Intimate partner violence is felt beyond its impact on the couple, and affects those in their environment and society as a whole. Intimate Partner Violence reinforces and intensifies gaps in power between men and women, impairs work productivity and economic growth, and places a burden on health and welfare systems, law enforcement, the courts, and schools.

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