What is Intimate Partner Violence?

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a form of gender-based violence that occurs within an intimate relationship. IPV includes acts of physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviours. It can occur between current or past dating partners, sexual partners, spouses or cohabiting partners.

Why does IPV matter?

  • One in three Canadian women has experienced abuse at some point in her life
  • Every six days, a woman is killed by her partner or ex-partner
  • IPV leads to injuries and various physical, psychological, social and financial problems
  • At work, IPV can cause fear, anxiety, lower productivity, absences, and safety concerns for co-workers
  • The total cost of IPV is $7.4 billion per year

Who is most vulnerable?

  • Women are much more likely than men to be victims of severe forms of IPV, multiple victimizations, injuries and death.
  • Women from all backgrounds can experience IPV, but some groups are more vulnerable to abuse, in part due to a lack of services as well as barriers to existing services. These groups include:
    • Young, Indigenous, racialized, immigrant, refugee, non-status, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and Two Spirit women, women from particular ethno-cultural and/or religious communities, women living with a disability, HIV, or a mental health or addiction issue, and sex trade workers.
  • Men also experience IPV and may have more difficulty disclosing and accessing services due to gender role expectations and lack of services. Transgender, Two Spirit, gay and bisexual men are at higher risk.
  • Men and women from all backgrounds can perpetrate IPV, but some groups are at increased risk (e.g., young or unemployed, lower socio-economic status, history of childhood abuse, mental health or addiction issues)