Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence
Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence
Intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV) is any form of sexual assault that takes place within an intimate relationship. It includes not only marital rape, but all other forms of sexual assault that take place within a current or former intimate relationship, whether the partners are married or not. IPSV involves using force, threats or coercion to obtain sex or sexual acts; shaming a woman’s sexuality or sexual preferences; and/or not respecting a woman’s sexual or physical privacy. In a relationship in which IPSV is present, sexual violence is used to gain power and control over a partner.
IPSV includes but is not limited to the following:
- coerced or forced oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse,
- violent sex (physical abuse before, during, or after sex),
- forced participation in group sex, or sex with another person, or sex with partner watching, or in front of children,
- unwanted sexual touching or being forced to touch,
- making degrading sexual taunts,
- forced involvement in making or watching pornography,
- forced prostitution,
- use of technology to victimize,
- using sex to prove faithfulness,
- withholding affection if sexual demands are not met.
What are some of the impacts unique to IPSV?
What are some of the factors that differentiate IPSV from other sexual assault victims? What are some of the factors that differentiate IPSV from domestic violence? IPSV carries with it the same impacts as domestic violence and sexual violence. However, because it rests at the intersection of both of these forms of violence, it also involves a number of unique impacts.
- Difficulty defining the act(s) as sexual assault.
- Longer-lasting trauma.
- Higher levels of physical injury.
- Higher incidence of multiple sexual assaults.
- Higher levels of anal and oral rape.
- Advice to ‘put up with’ sexual assault and other forms of secondary wounding.
- Financial dependency.
- A general climate of sexual assault.
- Potential Fatality.
- Deliberately inflicting pregnancy or STIs.
- Psychological effects, including shame and confusion.
- Self-blame & shame.
Information adopted from
Fredericton Sexual Assault Crisis Center IPSV Fact Sheet
Leaving an Abusive Dating Relationship
If you think you are in an abusive relationship, learn more about getting help. See a doctor or nurse to attend to any physical problems and reach out for support for your emotional plan. Friends, family, and mental health professionals can all help.
If you are thinking about ending an abusive dating relationship, keep some tips in mind:
- Create a safety plan, like where you can go if you are in danger.
- Make sure you have a working cell phone handy in case you need to call for help.
- Create a secret code with people you trust. That way, if you are with your partner, you can get help without having to say you need help.
- If you're breaking up with someone you see at your high school or college, you can get help from a guidance counselor, advisor, teacher, school nurse, dean's office, or principal. You also might be able to change your class schedules or even transfer to another school.
- If you have a job, talk to someone you trust at work. Your human resources department or employee assistance program (EAP) may be able to help.
- Try to avoid walking or riding alone.
- Be smart about technology. Do not share your passwords. Do not post your schedule on Facebook, and keep your settings private.
Staying Safe When Meeting Someone New
If you are meeting someone you do not know or do not know well, you can take steps to stay safe. Try to:
- Meet your date in a public place.
- Tell a friend or family member your date's name and where you are going.
- Avoid parties where a lot of alcohol may be served.
- Make sure you have a way to get home if you need to leave.
- Have a cell phone handy in case you need to call for help.
Click here to access resources.