What comes to mind when you think of intimate partner violence (IPV)? Perhaps, like most people, you thought of a straight, married, lower middle-class couple, where the male is the perpetrator. While violence certainly does happen in situations like this, IPV does not discriminate.
IPV is seen across all cultures, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, genders, regions, socioeconomic status, and education levels.1 The assumption that this type of violence only happens to certain people can create a barrier for survivors who don’t fit the norm. For example, people in positions of privilege or affluence may have a difficult time asking for help for fear of losing their power and influence. For men, societal stereotypes and heteronormative ideas may instill self-judgement or shame over disclosing abuse.2 Survivors with a lack of access to education might not know the signs of manipulation or abuse and thus don’t know that they can report. LGBTQ+ survivors, especially transgender survivors, might be worried that IPV shelters or crisis centers won’t take them due to their gender identity or sexual orientation, leading to a lack of services for this population and even more barriers to reporting their abuse. In order to empower all survivors and encourage healing, it is crucial to recognize that IPV can happen anywhere, to anyone!
Help break the stereotypes about IPV by staying educated, spreading the word, and believing survivors when they disclose abuse. You can call us 24/7/365 at 330-374-0740 to ask questions, request services, or just to talk about anything, including how to support a friend, family member, or co-worker.
1 “Abuse Hurts. Domestic Violence Awareness at The University of Michigan.” About Domestic Violence. Accessed October 15, 2019. http://stopabuse.umich.edu/about/understanding.html. 2 Fensterheim, Stuart B. “Domestic Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence in Affluent Couples.” GoodTherapy.org Therapy Blog, October 31, 2017. https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/domestic-abuse-intimate-partner-violence-in-affluent-couples-1101174.