Intimate partner violence is one of the most common forms of violence and it includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse which leads to psychological abuse by an intimate partner. Follow this article to learn more about intimate partner violence and what is the relationship between intimate partner violence (IPV) and marriage.
Intimate partner violence is a global burden that falls upon men and women. The highest percentage recorded for IPV is from women. About 25% – 46% women bore violence throughout their lives. IPV is associated with marriage or dating. It occurs in a situation where two people are intimately involved with each other and one of them gets pleasure by physically hurting the other person.
IPV has many different types like; physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuser, online abuse, or even stalking. All of these forms are the worst experiences for a human being to ever witness. An abuser might never stop with his/her abuse, this may result in deteriorating physical and mental health. Abuser will continue gifting the victim new wounds before the old ones heal.
Table of Contents
What is intimate partner violence (IPV)?
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is one of the saddest realities of our time. It is slowly becoming a socially acceptable norm for one partner to physically/emotionally/sexually hurt his/her partner. IPV is one of the major causes for a lot of marriages ending in divorce. But truth be told, it is far better than the death of the victim at the hands of his/her abuser. IPV happens when one person while being in a relationship starts to enjoy physically hurting the other one.
According to many researchers, women suffer more during IPV than men. Any relationship that makes you feel worthless and isolated with physical or emotional abuse will only result in IPV. an abuser will find pleasure in your pain and the severity of the abuse can sometimes drive you to the brink of death. IPV is not a gender specific thing, women can be violent too. IPV basically is a way to exert your power over others.
IPV is not a racial problem either. It is a mindset that creates the whole ruckus in the victim’s life. IPV is one of the main reasons for homicide and sexual assault. So many people lose their lives at the hands of their partner who hurts them physically, emotionally, sexually, and psychologically. And even if the victim manages to get out of that abusive relationship. They have to deal with longitudinal stress and depression which can cause self harm and suicidal thoughts.
What are the causes and risk factors for intimate partner violence?
For a better understanding of violence, it has been divided into three categories that play a huge role in a person’s life:
- Individual factors
- Relationship factors
- Societal factors
Some of the most consistent factors associated with a man’s increased likelihood of committing violence against his partner are:
- Young age
- Low level of education
- Witnessing or experiencing violence as a child
- Alcohol and drugs
- Personality disorders
- Acceptance of violence. (feeling it is acceptable for a man to beat his partner)
- Past history of abusing partners
Factors consistently associated with a woman’s increased likelihood of experiencing violence by her partner include:
- Low level of education
- Exposure of violence between parents
- Sexual abuse during childhood
- Acceptance of violence
- Exposure to other forms of prior abuse
Factors associated with the relationship scenario are:
- Conflict in the relationship
- Male dominance in the family
- Economic stress
- One of the partners is having an extra marital affair.
- Unbalanced educational qualification of the partners. (one of them is more educated than other)
The following factors have been found across studies:
- Gender biased social norms (especially those that link notions of a male dominated society)
- Low social and economic status of women
- Weak legal sanctions against IPV within marriage
- Lack of women’s civil rights, including equal divorce and marriage laws.
- Weak community sanctions against IPV.
- Acceptance of violence
- Extremely high level of sexual/physical violence in the society. Which is sadly acceptable. .
What are the types of intimate partner violence?
Intimate partner violence can take many different forms, which can include:
- Sexual abuse
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Financial abuse
- Online abuse
Forcing someone for sexual pleasure is one of the worst forms of violence. This can cause severe injury to a person; such as torn apart vagina and serious infections that can get worse with time.
Hurting or attempting to hurt someone by punching, kicking, slapping, hitting, biting, pinching, burning, strangling, grabbing, choking, or shoving them. Physical abuse also includes actions such as throwing things, banging doors, or punching walls. Sometimes physical abuse can cause the victim his/her life.
Constantly telling someone that they are good for nothing and calling them horrific names will lower anybody’s self esteem. An abuser will find pleasure in this. He/she will want to make you feel worthless and depressed.
Terrorizing the person, playing mind games with them, or threatening to harm them or their loved ones. Constantly telling them that the world would be a better place without them and repeating that whatever they do for their relationship, it will never be enough.
An abuser will confiscate your financial powers. He/she will want to be the one incharge of the relationship. That means they will use everything in their power to make you dependent on them.
It is a kind of behavior where a person will violate their victims privacy by following them without even letting the victim know. This type of an abuser is always around you keeping an eye on your every movement.
Using email, social media, dating apps, and other digital platforms to harass, abuse, stalk, threaten, bully, or manipulate an intimate partner. Or using location applications to constantly monitor their each and every movement.
What are the consequences of intimate partner violence?
IPV affects a person’s physical and mental health through injury, stress, depression, fear, sexual/physical/emotional assault. A history of experiencing violence is therefore a risk factor for many diseases and conditions. The more severe the abuse, the greater its impact on a person’s physical and mental health, and the impact over time can be more severe. Following are some of the consequences of intimate partner violence (IPV).
- Injury and physical health
- Mental health
- Reproductive health
- Violence during pregnancy
- Effects on children
Injury and physical health:
The physical damage resulting from IPV can include: bruises and welts, fractures and broken bones or teeth, sight and hearing damage; head injury; attempted strangulation; and back and neck injury. An abuser will not even let your old wounds heal before he/she strikes again.
People who are abused by their partners suffer through more phobias and stress than any other person. The constant verbal, physical, or sexual abuse can mess up your brain. It can make you question your identity. Victim might start blaming themselves which can lead to self harm or suicide. Most people also turn towards alcohol and drugs to divert their mind from the constant abuse..
IPV may lead to sexual assault and reproductive health consequences for women, including unwanted pregnancy, abortion , sexually transmitted infections including HIV, pregnancy complications, urinary tract infections and sexually tranmitted diseases.
Violence during pregnancy:
Violence during pregnancy has been associated with:
- Late entry into prenatal care
- Still birth
- Premature delivery
- Fatal injury
- Low birth weight
IPV is one of the major causes of homicide. Many men and women lose their lives because of their aggressive and abusive partners. And those who manage to survive through this whirlwind can get subjected to a life long of depression which often results in suicide or self harm. The percentage of women being subjected to IPV is a lot higher than men.
Effects on children:
Many studies have found an association between IPV against women and negative social and health consequences for children, including anxiety, depression, poor school performance and negative health outcomes. Witnessing an abusive relationship between the parents can result in the children being associated with IPV later in life.
What is the relationship between intimate partner violence (IPV) and marriage?
Societal attitudes about marital violence have changed in the last twenty years. Battered wives have much more legal protection available than even a few years ago. People nowadays are more open and vocal about their relationship experiences. But still there are some cases that we hear of sexual violence, physical violence, and emotional violence. Many of us wonder why someone wants to be in any relationship with an abusive person. Why don’t they just get out of it and leave the abuser? The answer is because it is never easy for a person to get out of an abusive relationship.
There are so many times when men and women continue being in an abusive relationship because they think they deserve it. That’s what abuse does to you. Especially when you are related to your abuser through marriage, things might get worse. There are restrictions on you and some of them are by you. Although women have a higher rate of being in an IPV marriage, there are men who suffer through abuse at the hands of their partners. Below are some of the effects IPV has on marriage:
- Sexual assault
- Mental health
- Physical health
One of the most calming factors for any parent is their children. But when you are in a marriage associated with IPV it has some of the most dangerous effects on you and your children. Children who witness IPV in their homes are most likely to be socially introverted, fearful, depressed, and they may experience difficulty at school.
IPV is one of the main causes of marital rape. Blinded by anger, an abuser is most likely to assault you physically as well as sexually. This can change the entire dynamic of a marriage. A sexual assault can break a person beyond repair. This type of thing happening is a deal breaker of any relationship especially when a person has been enduring IPV all along.
When you are in a marriage that has been associated with IPV you are likely to feel isolated. An abuser will make you feel alone. At the beginning of any marriage, if your partner is slowly making you cut off your ties with your family and friends that means your relationship cannot be fixed because it is the abusers mentality to make their victims feel isolated and mess with their self esteem.
Being in a marriage that gives you nothing but pain (physically, emotionally, and psychologically) can cause a lot of trauma for you. If you or your loved one is a victim of IPV then they are most likely to suffer through anxiety and stress. They can fall into the pit of depression so deep that suicide or self harm might be the only option for them.
IPV can cause great harm to your physical health. The beating, punching, or even the name calling can cause a strain on your physical health. An abuser always gets pleasure in hurting others and most of the time in an IPV marriage your wounds are not even healed properly before the abuser strikes again.
How can you prevent intimate partner violence (IVP)?
Every problem has its own solution. Sometimes you can get out of a problem easily, other times you might have to fight with all of your power to get out of a certain mess. Same goes for IVP. It is not easy getting out of a relationship with someone who has so much control over your mind, your body, and your whole life. But there are some preventative steps that you can take to ensure your safety:
- Look closely at the warning signs
- You cannot fix everything
- Don’t let the emotional abuse get to your head
- Get out of that relationship
Look closely at the warning signs:
A person will not show their true colors all of a sudden. It happens overtime. Firstly an abuser will start by isolating you, he/she will make you choose between him/her or your friends and family. The abuser will limit your contact with the outside world. Secondly the abuser will make you dependent on them. Financially they will cut off your expenditures and make you believe that having a joint account is a much better option. All of these are the warning signs that you must look after.
You cannot fix everything:
It is a known fact that when you love someone you give them second chances to rectify their mistakes and sometimes you overlook their behavior thinking that they will be more understanding in the future. But with IVP that is not the case. The moment an abuser lays his/her hand on you for the very first time or when they try to humiliate you by using humor — it is time to walk out of that relationship.
Don’t let the emotional abuse get to your head:
I know it is easier said than done especially when the abuser is calling you names 24/7. Moreover when the abuser is someone whom you used to trust implicitly. But in the midst of all that make sure you hold on to the last thread of hope and that is your self consciousness. Keep reminding yourself that you are not what he/she is trying to make you look like, you are so much more than that. Fight for yourself and for the peace of your mind.
Get out of the relationship:
Get out of an IVP relationship as soon as possible and know that it’s never too late. Run far away from that abusive relationship, get help, have the law involved, and get in touch with your loved ones as soon as you can. Keep reminding yourself that you are stronger than your abuser and he/she cannot get you now. If you are afraid that he/she might attack you outside then get a restraining order against them.
Being in an intimate partner violence (IPV) relationship is a lot harder than you imagine because you might feel low on your self esteem as the time passes. The emotional and verbal abuse can tear your self confidence apart. Physical abuse can make your body extremely weak. The belting, slapping, pushing, biting, and sometimes kicking can give you severe wounds on your body and can even cause internal bleeding. Physical abuse can often lead to sexual abuse where the abuser will do anything to exert his/her power on the victim.
All of these are a part of psychological abuse where you start questioning your existence. You have these constant thoughts of ending your misery by ending your life. Whenever any of these questions enter your mind, just remind yourself that it is never too late. Your life is far more important than being in an IVP relationship with someone.