Skip all navigation Skip to page navigation

DHHS Home | Assistance | Divisions | About DHHS | DHHS Contacts

NC Department of Health and Human Services
N.C. DPH: Chronic Disease and Injury Section
N.C. Public Health Home

Injury and Violence Prevention Branch

Intimate Partner Violence

Get (Confidential) Help from Intimate Partner Violence (Domestic Abuse)

If you are in a situation where you need help from emotional, physical, or sexual abuse / threats, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline:

TTY: 1-800-787-3224

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that intimate partner violence (IPV) is abuse that occurs between two people in a close relationship. The term “intimate partner” includes current and former spouses and dating partners. IPV exists along a continuum from a single episode of violence to ongoing battering. IPV includes four types of behavior:

  • Physical abuse is when a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, burning, or other physical force.
  • Sexual abuse is forcing a partner to take part in a sex act when the partner does not consent.
  • Threats of physical or sexual abuse include the use of words, gestures, weapons, or other means to communicate the intent to cause harm.
  • Emotional abuse is threatening a partner or his or her possessions or loved ones, or harming a partner’s sense of self-worth. Examples are stalking, name calling, intimidation, or not letting a partner see friends and family.

Often, IPV starts with emotional abuse. This behavior can progress to physical or sexual assault. Several types of IPV may occur together.

If you are in a situation where you need help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Hotline advocates provide support and assistance to anyone involved in a domestic violence situation, including those in same-sex relationships, male survivors, those with disabilities and immigrant victims of domestic violence. All calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline are anonymous and confidential. There are people who can help you in both English and Spanish as well as Hotline advocates that have access to more than 140 different languages through interpreter services.

The CDC, North Carolina Public Health and many other partners in prevention want to stop IPV before it begins. Strategies that promote healthy dating relationships are important. These strategies should focus on young people when they are learning skills for dating. This approach can help those at risk from becoming victims or offenders of IPV.

Traditionally, women’s groups have addressed IPV by setting up crisis hotlines and shelters for battered women, but both men and women can work with young people to prevent IPV. Adults can help change social norms, be role models, mentor youth, and work with others to end this violence. For example, by modeling nonviolent relationships, men and women can send the message to young boys and girls that violence is not okay.

The CDC offers more information on their website about Intimate Partner Violence.