Domestic violence, or Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), is a pattern of behavior intended to gain and maintain power and control over an intimate partner – a current or former spouse or dating partner.
Some of the mechanisms involved in this dynamic of power and control are coercion and threats, isolation, using the children as leverage, minimizing, denying and blaming, using intimidation, and other forms of abuse.
Survivors of IPV suffer physical injuries such as cuts, scratches, bruises and welts, broken bones, internal bleeding, head trauma, and even death. In addition to physical harm, IPV also is related to emotional distress and trauma symptoms such as flashbacks, sleep disturbances, panic attacks, low self-esteem, trust and relationship challenges, eating disorders, anger, depression, and thoughts of suicide.
Intimate partner violence can also take the forms of sexual violence, economic abuse, and stalking. Domestic violence transcends age, sexual preference, socioeconomic class, ethnicity, culture or religion.
The YWCA of Great Falls offers a 24-hour crisis line for those seeking assistance and support around issues of intimate partner violence.
Mercy Home crisis line: 1-800-352-7449 or 406-453-1018