What is Intimate Partner Violence
Intimate partner violence (IPV) happens when someone is hurt by another person that they have a relationship with. This includes sexual, physical and emotional abuse. In the past this has been referred to as “domestic violence” “domestic abuse” or “battered women”.
IPV affects all ages, genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic and educational classes, and cultural and religious backgrounds. Since the start of the covid-19 pandemic, this trauma has become even more common.
How does intimate partner violence impact survivors?
IPV is a serious problem which puts survivors at an increased risk of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, addiction, PTSD and Complex PTSD. There are also physical risks such as injury, chronic pain, disability, and even death.
IPV does not have to be a life sentence – at New Moon Psychotherapy we believe in new beginnings and are trained in evidence-based therapies to help you create yours. Before we get into how we can help – let’s address some of the complications that interfere with IPV survivors seeking support.
It’s my fault
Many IPV survivors believe that the abuse is their fault. This often results in difficult emotions like shame and guilt.
The belief that it’s my fault often comes from two places:
1) Being told by the abuser or misguided others that you must have done something to cause the abuse
2) The just-world bias – the belief that people get what they deserve
While it is never the survivor’s fault (you’re not an exception) you might not believe it right now. That’s okay – we’ll believe it for you.
I still love them
Of course you do. People are complex, it is possible and normal to love the people who hurt us. It’s also possible to love and hate someone at the same time. We hear this often and will not judge.
I shouldn’t have stayed – I knew better
What keeps most people stuck in cycles of IPV is that after abuse there is often an apology and a promise to not harm again. IPV relationships aren’t often 100% evil – sandwiched in between the abuse there is the person you fell in love with, the memories that you share, and moments of joy. This makes things incredibly confusing and survivors often question themselves and struggle to know what to do.
I won’t be able to manage
If you’re currently in the relationship, fear of managing on your own might be at the front of your thoughts. This becomes even more complicated when children are involved. Our team can help you explore options that might be available to you.
How can New Moon Psychotherapy help?
Lets begin by saying that we appreciate the immense courage that it takes to look for support. Our compassionate and nonjudgmental therapists are committed to using evidence-based therapies to treat the difficulties that you’re experiencing.
Because people reach out at different stages of IPV, the problems to be treated and the strategies used will vary. We are committed to helping survivors at all stages of their healing journeys – from those in the IPV relationship to those who have left years or even decades ago.
What can I expect?
When you first reach out, our administrative assistant Lauren will chat with you to better understand your current situation and needs. She will use this information to recommend a therapist who specializes in IPV.
It’s important that you feel comfortable with the therapist that you choose to work with. For this reason we offer a complimentary 15-minute consultation to see if they are the right fit for you.