UNC-CH defines interpersonal violence in THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL POLICY ON PROHIBITED DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, AND RELATED MISCONDUCT Including Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Violence, Interpersonal Violence and Stalking as “includes physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that a reasonable person in similar circumstances and with similar identities would find intimidating, frightening, terrorizing, or threatening. Such behaviors may include threats of violence to one’s self, one’s family member, or one’s pet.”
Interpersonal violence can encompass a broad range of abusive behavior committed by a person who is/has been:
• A romantic or intimate partner (of the same or different sex)
• A spouse or partner (of the same or different sex)
• A family member
• A cohabitant or household member, including a roommate
Interpersonal violence is also commonly referred to as intimate partner violence, dating violence, domestic violence and/or relationship violence.
Some examples of threatening, intimidating, and terrorizing behavior can include:
• Name calling
• Threatening to disclose personal/sensitive information (LGBTQ status, HIV status, survivor status)
• Destroying property
• Displaying weapons
• Threatening to commit suicide if the other leaves
• Hurting, or threatening to hurt, pets and/or children
• Limiting access to contraception methods
• Monitoring phone and social media use
• Limiting access to money or transportation
Interpersonal violence can take many forms and therefore no one’s experience is “better” or “worse” than anyone else’s. All forms of interpersonal violence are serious and detrimental to the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of the person experiencing the violence.
It is important to remember that it is never the survivor’s fault for being abused. No one EVER deserves to experience violence or abuse, no matter the circumstances.
Often, it is difficult for those outside the relationship to understand why a survivor may have difficulty leaving the relationship. Some reasons that survivors may remain in the relationship are:
• Lack of outside resources (financial, housing, family, etc)
• Hope or belief that the violence will end
• Cultural issues
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