Facts About Intimate Partner Violence/Gender-based Violence

Gender-based or Intimate Partner Violence is an attempt to have power and control over another person by hurting or mistreating them.

Types of Abuse Include:

Hitting, punching, beating, slapping, pulling hair, use of weapons, mutilation, burning, biting, murder

Any forced sexual contact ranging from unwanted touching to rape, harassment

Threats, insults, name-calling, blaming and accusing, swearing, shouting

Emotional / Psychological 
Withholding love, sympathy or understanding, inadequate physical or emotional care, isolation, intimidation, extreme jealousy, destroying property, threatening to commit suicide

Stealing, withholding money and/or denying access to employment opportunities, preventing access to household financial information

Belittling a person’s spiritual beliefs or preventing them from attending the church, synagogue or temple of their choice

The Cycle of Abuse

Gender-based/intimate partner violence is rarely a one-time occurrence. It usually takes place as part of a cycle that includes the following phases…

Tension-building stage: 
Insults and other verbal attacks; minor abusive situations; victim tries to be compliant, “walks on eggshells,” and feels helpless; atmosphere becomes increasingly more oppressive.

Violent episode: 
Built-up tensions erupt into incidents ranging from severe verbal/emotional abuse to physical/sexual assault and can last from a few minutes to a few days, depending on the relationship. It is during this time that a woman is most likely to be seriously injured or killed by her partner.

Honeymoon stage: 
Following a violent episode the abuser is usually contrite and attentive; the survivor once again recognizes the person she first fell in love with and may be inclined to believe his promises to change.

GBV/IPV rarely stops without some form of intervention. The cycle usually repeats itself with the violent episodes escalating in frequency and intensity.

One out of every four Canadian women will suffer some type of abuse during her lifetime and every year, one in 10 Canadian women are physically battered by her partner. Domestic violence and abuse occurs in all socio-economic groups and cultural/religious backgrounds and it affects women of all ages.