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Intimate partner violence may be seen with military personnel

You may be more familiar with the term domestic violence than with intimate partner violence (IPV), they both are very similar, but the violence with IPV is usually broader. IPV will include abuse associated with sexual, physical or emotional violence from a current or former intimate partner.

Around a third of women and a quarter of men have been the victims of IPV. Typically, IPV is experienced through rape, stalking, mental or physical abuse.

When it comes to military personnel, the experiences surrounding their lifestyle can put them at greater risk of IPV. These situations can range from separation from family, multiple deployments, excessive workloads, trauma, substance abuse and mental illness.

There are four main types of IPV as laid out by the CDC

Physical violence is the intentional violence by use of physical force. Examples include:

  • Hitting
  • Pushing
  • Punching
  • Shaking
  • Choking
  • Slapping
  • Use of a weapon
  • Kicking
  • Restraining

Sexual violence is violence against someone in a sexual manner when they have not given consent. The violence may only be attempted and not completed. Examples of sexual violence is divided into five categories.

  • Rape
  • Victim forced to rape someone else
  • Non-physical pressure into rape using intimidation or misuse of authority
  • Unwanted sexual contact through touching or forcing the victim to touch perpetrator
  • Non-contact sexual experience that can include unwanted exposure to sexual situations, harassment, filming, photographing or threats of sexual violence.

Stalking is the repeated pattern of unwanted contact and attention which causes fear for a person’s safety from someone else. Examples of stalking include times when a perpetrator:

  • Knows your schedule
  • Appears at the same places
  • Continues to send email and texts
  • Calls repeatedly
  • Engages with you on social media
  • Sends you gifts
  • Threatens harm

Psychological aggression is using either verbal or non-verbal communication to bring harm or attack another person’s self-worth. Examples include:

  • Bullying
  • Controlling
  • Insults
  • Manipulation
  • Name calling
  • Causing embarrassment

Because there is an elevated risk of IPV in both current and former military personnel, it is critical to know how to detect behaviors that could be exhibited. If you notice any of these situations happening in your life with a person who has been on active duty, you may be a victim of intimate partner violence.

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