Domestic violence is a public health issue. The health and financial effects burden survivors and the community at large. Many people perceive domestic violence as physical abuse, but it can also be psychological or emotional abuse.

Domestic violence or intimate partner violence can result in depression, PTSD and risky behaviors.

Intimate partner violence defined

Intimate partner violence is domestic violence or aggression that occurs in a dating or married relationship, explains the CDC. Intimate partner violence or IPV can be one instance of violence or violent episodes over several years.

Not all IPV is physical, however. Stalking and psychological aggression are examples of intimate partner violence. Stalking occurs when one person repeatedly supplies unwanted attention to a partner until the partner fears for his or her safety.

Over 40 million women and men experience psychological violence by a partner. This violence can begin as teenagers and affect women and men into adulthood. Men and women report experiencing some form of abuse by an intimate partner before the age of 18.

Emotional abuse explained

Emotional abuse, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, can have effects as serious as physical abuse. The abusive partner may use insults to degrade the other, may try to control and isolate his or her partner or use scare tactics.

Signs of emotional abuse may include a person who acts jealous and makes accusations of cheating. In addition to cheating accusations, abusers may try to prevent their partners from visiting friends or family. They will also use threats of violence against others or themselves as a control tactic.