Domestic violence, now called intimate partner violence or intimate partner abuse, is a pattern of hurtful, harmful or controlling behaviors one person in an intimate relationship uses against the other person. This can include physical, emotional, economic or sexually abusive acts or threats.
While these behaviors often occur during the course of the relationship, they can also happen by someone who wishes to be in an intimate relationship with another person or after the relationship has ended.
Recognizing what behaviors are part of intimate partner violence is not always easy, especially if there has not been any physical violence. However many people who have never been physically assaulted by a partner live with other forms of abuse and control that take a toll on their well-being and greatly affect their lives.