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Trauma and Domestic Violence

Any discussion of domestic violence must begin with a clarification of the term. At the beginning of the shelter movement in the 1970s, the term was used to denote physical violence between married couples. During the next 40 years, as understanding of the complexities of violent relationships grew, the term changed. Today, the more accurate terminology is intimate partner violence (IPV), and it refers to any act, either threatened or committed, that causes physical or psychological harm to an intimate partner. This expanded understanding of the problem captures physical violence and the larger, multidimensional construct often termed abuse. In this context, abuse refers to controlling tactics that are less obvious than physical violence (e.g., threats, intimidation, using children, disrupting the partner's work setting, economic abuse) ...

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