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Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate partner violence (IPV), according to the World Heslth Organization (WHO), refers to any behaviour within an intimate relationship that causes physical, psychological or sexual harm to those in the relationship, including physical aggression, sexual coercion and controlling behaviours.

IPV is one of the most common forms of violence committed against women and girls, and it occurs in all settings. When IPV occurs in adolescence, it is called teen dating violence (TDV).

In Nigeria, almost 1 in 4 women experience intimate partner violence, and about 1 in 3 (30%) of women worldwide aged 15-49 years have been subjected to some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner.

What are the types of Intimate Partner Violence?

  • Physical violence involves causing physical harm, injury and trauma to a partner. This may include any of the following:

Hitting, kicking, slapping, to damaging property in fit of rage, confining one’s partner in any room to prevent them leaving, or forcing one to leave one’s home.

  • Sexual violence is forcing or attempting to force a partner to take part in a sex act, sexual touching, or a non-physical sexual event (e.g., sexting) when the partner does not or cannot consent.

  • Stalking is a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention and contact by a partner that causes fear or concern for one’s own safety or the safety of someone close to the victim.

  • Psychological aggression is the use of verbal and non-verbal communication with the intent to harm another partner mentally or emotionally and/or to exert control over another partner.

IPV can have devastating effects on women’s physical and mental health, as well as economic costs to victims.

Some of the consequences of IPV include

  • Injuries

  • Mental health problems – women who are abused by their partners suffer higher levels of depression, anxiety, emotional distress, and in worse cases, suicide. IPV is also linked with alcohol and drug abuse, poor self-esteem, self-harm etc…

  • Effects on Children – Intimate partner violence has been found to pose negative consequences for children who grow up in such households. This is referred to as the second-generation costs of IPV.

Children in such situations “suffer a range of behavioural and emotional disturbance”, including, depression, poor school performance, anxiety, and are associated with perpetrating or experiencing violence later in life.

  • Job loss or reduced productivity.

  • Unplanned and unwanted pregnancy - this can affect professional plans and lead to financial instability.

  • Disrupted education - this can limit future employment choices.

Let’s end the circle ⭕️ of domestic violence NOW!


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