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Intimate Partner Abuse

Intimate partner abuse usually involves injury to a spouse or partner, but not less frequent the cases when victims of abuse are children, teenagers, boys and girls. Violence may be in the form of heterosexual and homosexual (Annan, 2008). This kind of violence can be physical, moral, and may include mayhem together with belittling the dignity of a person. Basically there are four types of abuse – it is physical, sexual, economic and moral.

In fact, each particular type of abuse is an independent problem, which has specific features. The causes, conditions, forms of violence, the consequences of violent actions will have their own characteristics depending on the object and this must be considered when designing prevention and intervention in the family in order to prevent intimate partner abuse.

In modern society, intimate partner abuse is a big problem. Women, men and children experience violence from their partners, parents, friends or strangers much more than one can imagine. Despite all attempts to stop such actions at the legislative level, this phenomenon is becoming an epidemic (Kurst-Swanger, 2003).

Victims and rapists have not the typical portrait; anyone can be in their place. At the same time, it’s almost impossible to provide definite statistics for such case, since not all of them are fixed, because the majority of victims are silent about such incidents.

Most victims of intimate partner abuse do not know how to make the first step to prevent or stop violent actions. Registration of cases of abuse is even more difficult by the fact that it is difficult to attribute certain acts of violence to criminal acts. At the same time there are factors affecting the handling of actual or potential victims to the police. It is reasonable fear of victims that the offender will not be arrested, a distrust to the legal system, fear of the insulting investigation process, the reluctance to make his secret public and others.To avoid and prevent abuse, one must at first take the position of the victim. It’s necessary to trust one’s feelings and not ignore this situation. It’s enough the knowledge that one feel uncomfortable or scared of a person staying with him/her to take serious action. One may need to have a calendar to record all events, incidents of abuse and possibly even with pictures. One also needs to inform his/her relatives or close people on this problem. It might be necessary to organize a possible place of residence, in case one has to leave home. In every state there are hotlines and services that will give more detailed instructions for action on each case (Cattaneo, 2007).

It’s also important to note that the witnesses, friends and close people should not stand idly by as well. Sometimes for them it’s even harder to understand and accept the situation because most of the recommendations are given to the victims. But exactly people close to the victim can help her or him to cope with this situation. They need to trust the words of the victims, to support him/her and create conducive conditions for the solution of the problem. Witnesses should be aware of their right and duty to inform the police on the facts of intimate partner abuse.


Annan, Sandra L. (2008). Intimate Partner Violence in Rural Environments. Annual Review of Nursing Research. Springer Publishing Company, 26(1), 85-113.
Cattaneo, L., Bell, M., Goodman, L., Dutton, M. (2007). Intimate Partner Violence Victims’ Accuracy in Assessing their Risk of Re-abuse. Journal of Family Violence. Springer, 22(6), 429-440.
Kurst-Swanger, K., Petcosky, J.L. (2003). Intimate Partner Abuse. Violence in the Home. Oxford Scholarship Online Monographs, 87-124.