Intimate partner violence (IPV) is abuse that takes place between two people who have a romantic relationship. Many people also use the word “domestic violence,” but this type of violence can occur in many forms and can affect people of any age, including teens. Intimate partner violence may include:
Physical or Sexual. Forms of physical violence include pushing, shaking, punching, slapping, forcing you to do sexual acts against your will, throwing things at you, using weapons, damaging your property, or hurting or killing your pets. If someone is being physically violent to you, seek safety as soon as possible. Leave the situation as quickly and safely as possible, and call 911 or your local police.
Emotional or Verbal. If someone is making threats, speaking or texting you in a way that is frightening, isolating you from your family and friends, putting you down, or using blackmail against you, he or she is being emotionally violent.
Economic. If someone is controlling your money, keeping you financially dependent, or forcing you to ask for money unreasonably, this is another form of violence.
It’s important to remember that no one has the right to be violent toward you and there are people who can help you.
Take these steps to get safe:
- Call the police. If you’re in immediate danger, call 911 or your local police.
- Leave. Because the person who is abusing you might be manipulating you or isolating you from your friends and family, you might feel like you can’t leave, or that you have nowhere to go. But there is support for you when you feel like you should leave a place where you feel threatened or unsafe. If you need to leave, make sure to take important items, like your IDs, credit cards, cash and cell phone. Plan your leave strategically, so you your partner doesn’t try to hurt you while you are trying to leave.
- Get support. Making a decision to leave an unsafe relationship can be difficult. You don’t have to do it alone. Talk to someone you trust, like a friend, family member, counselor or social worker. You might also want to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline at 1-866-331-9474 or 1-866-331-8453.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.