Intimate Partner Violence - Overall Definition
  • Intimate partner violence includes physical violence, sexual violence, stalking and psychological aggression (including coercive tactics) by a current or former intimate partner (i.e., spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, dating partner, or ongoing sexual partner).
Intimate Partner
  • An intimate partner is a person with whom one has a close personal relationship that may be characterized by the partners’ emotional connectedness, regular contact, ongoing physical contact and sexual behavior, identity as a couple, and familiarity and knowledge about each other’s lives. The relationship need not involve all of these dimensions.
  • Intimate partner relationships include current or former:
    • spouses (married spouses, common-law spouses, civil union spouses, domestic partners)
    • boyfriends/girlfriends
    • dating partners
    • ongoing sexual partners
  • Intimate partners may or may not be cohabiting. Intimate partners can be opposite or same sex. If the victim and the perpetrator have a child in common and a previous relationship but no current relationship, then by definition they fit into the category of former intimate partner. States differ as to what constitutes a common-law marriage. Users of the Recommended Data Elements will need to know what qualifies as a common-law marriage in their state.
Sexual Violence
  • Sexual violence is defined as a sexual act that is committed or attempted by another person without freely given consent of the victim or against someone who is unable to consent or refuse. It includes: forced or alcohol/ drug facilitated penetration of a victim; forced or alcohol/drug facilitated incidents in which the victim was made to penetrate a perpetrator or someone else; nonphysically pressured unwanted penetration; intentional sexual touching; or non-contact acts of a sexual nature. Sexual violence can also occur when a perpetrator forces or coerces a victim to engage in sexual acts with a third party.
  • Sexual violence involves a lack of freely given consent as well as situations in which the victim is unable to consent or refuse:
    • Consent: Words or overt actions by a person who is legally or functionally competent to give informed approval, indicating a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
    • Inability to Consent: A freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact could not occur because of the victim’s age, illness, mental or physical disability, being asleep or unconscious, or being too intoxicated (e.g., incapacitation, lack of consciousness, or lack of awareness) through their voluntary or involuntary use of alcohol or drugs.
    • Inability to Refuse: Disagreement to engage in a sexual act was precluded because of the use or possession of guns or other non-bodily weapons, or due to physical violence, threats of physical violence, intimidation or pressure, or misuse of authority
  • Stalking Definition: A pattern of repeated, unwanted, attention and contact that causes fear or concern for one’s own safety or the safety of someone else (e.g., family member, close friend).
  • Stalking acts by a perpetrator can include, but are not limited to:
    • Repeated and unwanted phone calls, voice messages, text messages, pages, and hang-ups
    • Repeated and unwanted emails, instant messages, or messages through websites (e.g., Facebook)
    • Leaving cards, letters, flowers, or presents when the victim doesn’t want them
    • Watching or following from a distance
    • Spying with a listening device, camera, or global positioning system (GPS)
    • Approaching or showing up in places (e.g., home, work, school) when the victim does not want to see them
    • Leaving strange or potentially threatening items for the victim to find
    • Sneaking into the victim’s home or car and doing things to scare the victim by letting them know they (perpetrator) had been there
    • Damaging the victim’s personal property, pets or belongings
    • Harming or threatening to harm the victim’s pet
    • Making threats to physically harm the victim
  • Criteria for stalking victimization: Victim must have experienced multiple stalking tactics or a single stalking tactic multiple times by the same perpetrator and:
    • felt fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed as a result of the perpetrator’s behavior
Affirmative Consent
The Clery Act
  • The Clery Act requires colleges and universities to report campus crime data, support victims of violence, and publicly outline the policies and procedures they have put into place to improve campus safety.