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Intimate Partner Violence

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

UBC PATHS Blog Post: Mar 27, 2023

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is categorized within domestic violence by a partner in an intimate relationship against the other partner. IPV can occur in many ways, including physical, verbal, emotional, economic and sexual abuse. Stalking and psychological aggression can also fall into this category of IPV. The timescale can refer to partners that are current and former partners. Some examples of IPV include hitting, damaging personal property, refusing medical care, or coercion for sexual behaviour.


  • Teaching safe and healthy relationship skills

  • Creating protective environments

  • Supporting survivors to increase their safety

  • Strengthening economic support for families

  • Engaging influential adults and peers through education and programs

AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC)

  • Provides free and confidential services to UBC students, staff, faculty, and those connected to the UBC-Vancouver campus community. Their services include:

  • Short-term emotional support: if a person needs to talk and would like someone to listen, SASC can help in different situations such as intimate partner violence or other relationship violences.

  • Safety planning: this plan helps keep individuals as safe as possible and prepare them for different scenarios. SASC can help develop a safety plan.

  • For more information check out the link below:

Did You Know?

  • Prevalence: Intimate partner violence affects people of all genders, ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated one in three women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence from a partner.

  • Health effects: The physical health effects of intimate partner violence can include injuries, chronic pain, and chronic conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular disease, and sexually transmitted infections. Victims of IPV are also more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • Effects on children: Children who witness or experience IPV may suffer from a range of emotional and behavioural problems, such as anxiety, depression, aggression, and academic problems. These effects can last well into adulthood, impacting their own ability to form healthy relationships.

  • Economic impact: IPV can have serious economic consequences for victims, including lost wages due to missed work, medical expenses, and legal fees.

  • Prevention and intervention: Effective prevention and intervention programs for IPV involve a range of strategies, including education, policy changes, and community-based programs that focus on supporting victims and holding perpetrators accountable.

Connection to Alzheimer’s

  • One study at the University of Toronto has shown that spousal abuse is a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s, especially since repetitive head trauma is a possible risk factor for Alzheimer’s.

  • Elder abuse, which is often perpetrated by spouses or even a person’s own children, has become increasingly common in Canada, and since people with Alzheimer’s require additional care, they may be extremely vulnerable to abuse.

  • Those with Alzheimer’s may also be the initiator of intimate partner violence, as dementia may increase violent mood swings directed at the caretakers, often a current or former intimate partner, of those with Alzheimer’s.


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