Intimate Partner Violence Information

Intimate Partner Violence Information Intimate Partner Violence Information
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is commonly referred to as dating or domestic violence and is not tolerated at Saint Mary's College.  

Saint Mary's College has an IPV policy in the student handbook. IPV is defined as:

  • as willful or intentional behaviors
  • abusive acts and/or threats to harm another person who they are currently or have previously been in an intimate relationship with
  • includes dating, married or domestic partners, or someone they have a child in common with

IPV may include:

  • physical harm
  • sexual abuse
  • emotional harm
  • psychological abuse
  • financial abuse


This type of relationship has a dynamic of power and control.

Someone may be in a physically abusive relationship if their partner has ever:

  • Damaged property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.)
  • Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked, or choked them
  • Abandoned them in a dangerous or unfamiliar place
  • Scared them by driving recklessly
  • Used or shown them a weapon to threaten or hurt them
  • Forced them to leave their home
  • Trapped them in their home or kept them from leaving
  • Prevented them from calling for help or seeking medical attention
  • Used physical force in sexual situations

    Someone may be in an emotionally or verbally abusive relationship if their partner:

    • Calls them names, insults them or continuously criticizes them
    • Does not trust them and acts jealous or possessive
    • Tries to isolate them from friends or family
    • Monitors where they go, who they call, and who they spend time with
    • Monitors and/or controls their social media accounts (what they post, who they are friends with/connected to, etc.)
    • Checks their partner's cell phone for text messages, calls, etc
    • Threatens to commit suicide if the other partner wants to end the relationship
    • Does not want them to work or have interests/hobbies outside of the relationship
    • Punishes them by withholding affection; making them "earn" affection and/or attention
    • Expects them to ask permission to spend time with friends, spend money, wear certain clothes, etc.
    • Threatens to hurt them, their family, friends, pets or anything or anyone most important to them
    • Humiliates them in any way 

    Someone may be in a sexually abusive relationship if their partner:

    • Accuses them of cheating or is often or is often jealout of their outside relationships 
    • Views women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles
    • Wants them to dress in a sexual way that they are not comfortable with
    • Does not respect sexual boundaries; ignore their feelings regarding sex
    • Insults them in sexual ways or calls them sexual names
    • Has ever forced or manipulated them into having sex or performing sexual acts
    • Held them down during sex
    • Demanded sex when they were sick, tired, or after physically harming them
    • Used coercion for sex
    • Hurt or threated them with weapons or objects during sex
    • Involved other people in sexual activities with them without their consent
    • Took photographs or video of a person naked or performing sex acts without consent

    IPV may look different in various relationships.

    The frequency and severity of domestic or dating violence may vary.

    But the one common factor in most situations is that the abusive partner's consistent effort to maintain power and control over the other person. For the power and control wheel, click here:

    In violent relationships, there is often a cycle of violence consisting of a tension building phase, the incident, followed by reconciliation, and calm. This cycle often causes the person being controlled in the relationship to often feel like they are walking on eggshells. For the cycle of violence diagram, please click here:

    If you or someone you know wants more information or to talk about your options confidentially, please contact Megan Gallagher, Director of the CARE Center, at or (925) 631-4193.