Intimate Partner Violence

Policy Definition of Intimate Partner Violence

The University uses the following definition for intimate partner violence under the Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence:

Intimate Partner Violence includes any act of violence or threatened act of violence that occurs between individuals who are involved or have been involved in a sexual, dating, spousal, domestic, or other intimate relationship. Intimate Partner Violence may include any form of Prohibited Conduct under this policy, including Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Physical Assault (as defined below).

Physical Assault is threatening or causing physical harm or engaging in other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person. Physical Assault will be addressed under this policy if it involves Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment, Intimate Partner Violence, or is part of a course of conduct under the Stalking definition.

Criminal Definition of Intimate Partner Violence

Below is one of the criminal code definitions for crimes related to intimate partner violence that would also be addressed by university policy. The full list of other crimes that may be implicated in cases of intimate partner violence can be found in Chapter 4: Crimes against the Person of the Code of Virginia.

Definitions from the University policy may differ from those used by the Commonwealth of Virginia to define intimate partner violence for the criminal justice system. In some cases, the University’s definitions include behaviors that, while not codified as criminal under the Virginia statutes, still violate the Standards of Conduct to which all University students are held. Conduct may also be both punishable under the criminal statutes and University policy. These processes are separate and distinct from one another, but can run concurrently.

§ 18.2-57.2. Assault and battery against a family or household member

A. Any person who commits an assault and battery against a family or household member is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Upon a conviction for assault and battery against a family or household member, where it is alleged in the warrant, petition, information, or indictment on which a person is convicted, that such person has been previously convicted of two offenses against a family or household member of (i) assault and battery against a family or household member in violation of this section, (ii) malicious wounding or unlawful wounding in violation of § 18.2-51, (iii) aggravated malicious wounding in violation of § 18.2-51.2, (iv) malicious bodily injury by means of a substance in violation of § 18.2-52, (v) strangulation in violation of § 18.2-51.6, or (vi) an offense under the law of any other jurisdiction which has the same elements of any of the above offenses, in any combination, all of which occurred within a period of 20 years, and each of which occurred on a different date, such person is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

C. Whenever a warrant for a violation of this section is issued, the magistrate shall issue an emergency protective order as authorized by § 16.1-253.4, except if the defendant is a minor, an emergency protective order shall not be required.

Public Health Definition of Intimate Partner Violence (CDC)

 Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious, preventable public health problem that affects millions of Americans. The term "intimate partner violence" describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy.

IPV can vary in frequency and severity. It occurs on a continuum, ranging from one hit that may or may not impact the victim to chronic, severe battering.

There are four main types of intimate partner violence (Saltzman et al. 2002):