IPV 101

It is really important to understand what Interpersonal Violence (IPV) is so that we can identify it when it occurs. IPV is an umbrella term that encompasses relationship violence, sexual violence, and stalking. All IPV incorporates elements of the Power and Control Wheel.


Relationship Violence: also called domestic violence, dating violence, or intimate partner violence—is a pattern of abuse that occurs in an intimate or romantic relationship. It can take many different forms, including:

  • physical (e.g. hitting or pushing)
  • emotional (e.g. extreme jealousy, isolation)
  • verbal (e.g. yelling, swearing, name calling)
  • financial (e.g. withholding money so one partner is dependent on the other)
  • psychological (e.g. threats of suicide and/or homicide)
  • sexual (e.g. forcing or coercing a partner to have sex when they don’t want to)

These are just a few examples of the many forms relationship violence can take. If you think you or a loved one is experiencing this, we are here for support. We can discuss strategies, provide resources, or simply talk through your concerns and help you decide what is best for you.

Sexual Violence: this is a catch-all term that describes any act of sex where the actor has not obtained consent from the other person(s). It can take many different forms, including:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Unwanted/non-consensual touching
  • Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex 
  • Continued coercion after consent is withheld or revoked
  • Rape

It is important to remember that no matter where you are, what you’re wearing, or what substances you have consumed, it is NEVER your fault if someone sexual assaults you. If you have experienced sexual violence (recently or in the past), you can reach out the the PCA to discuss your options or get support.

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Stalking: a willful course of conduct directed at a specific person that will cause that person to be afraid or intimidated. Stalking can occur during a relationship, after a relationship, or in the absence of a relationship (e.g. a stranger or acquaintance stalking someone). Stalking behaviors can include:

  • Knowing your schedule
  • Showing up at places you go
  • Sending mail, e-mail, and pictures
  • Calling or texting repeatedly
  • Contacting you or posting about you on social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc)
  • Writing letters
  • Damaging your property
  • Creating a web site about you
  • Sending gifts
  • Stealing things that belong to you
  • Any other actions to contact, harass, track, or frighten you

It is important to note, stalking makes normally legal behaviors illegal; our society often jokes about stalking, but it is important to take these behaviors seriously. If you or a loved one is being stalked, we can help.

How can the PCA help you?
If you or someone you know has experienced IPV, the PCA is here to help. As a free and confidential resource, an advocate can explain your options and allow you to make your own decision about what to do next. Here are some of the ways we can help:

  • Our 24/7 helpline is always available for support (even over breaks), from just talking about what happened to explaining your options and/or providing referrals.
  • In-office advocates can provide emotional support, discuss options, and safety-plan to keep you safe.
  • We also provide academic advocacy, which can include requesting deadline extensions, arranging make up tests, requesting excused absences, and more. We can work with your professors to help you work toward your academic goals.
  • We can accompany you to court, assist you in filing a police report or personal protective orders, or go with you to the hospital for an forensic exam.
  • We can explain student conduct and Title IX processes and support you if you choose to report what happened to the school.

The Phoenix Center at Auraria | Anschutz is a free and confidential resource.