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Interpersonal Violence: Do You Know the Signs?

Interpersonal violence is a deeply troubling and pervasive issue affecting countless lives across the world. It involves the intentional use of physical force or power against other persons by an individual or a small group of individuals. This violence can manifest in various forms, including physical, sexual, and psychological, which is also known as emotional violence. Additionally, interpersonal violence may encompass deprivation and neglect (Mercy et al., 2017), adding to the complexity of its impact on victims/survivors.

The Signs of Interpersonal Violence in a Partner

These signs may not always be obvious, as perpetrators often go to great lengths to hide their actions.

  • Repeatedly demeaning or criticizing you, making you feel as if you can't do anything right.

  • Displaying intense jealousy when it comes to your friends or the time you spend with them.

  • Actively discouraging or preventing you from spending time with friends, family, or peers.

  • Subjecting you to insults, shame, or belittlement, especially in front of others.

  • Restricting your autonomy by preventing you from making decisions, even in regards to work or school.

  • Controlling the household finances without discussion, such as taking your money or refusing to provide money for necessary expenses.

  • Coercing you into sexual activities you are uncomfortable with, ignoring your consent.

  • Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol against your will.

  • Using threatening looks or actions to create fear or intimidate you.

  • Belittling your parenting or threatening to harm or take away your children or pets.

  • Hitting, pushing, choking, restraining or causing physical harm to you, your children or pets.

The Types of Interpersonal Violence

Physical Abuse: This includes actions like hitting, slapping, or physically harming another person. It is often the most visible form of interpersonal violence.

Emotional Abuse: Emotional violence involves manipulation, control, humiliation, and constant criticism, aimed at undermining a person's self-worth and autonomy.

Sexual Abuse: Perpetrators of sexual abuse engage in non-consensual sexual activities, which can have severe and long-lasting psychological effects on victims/survivors.

Financial Abuse: Abusers may restrict access to money or financial resources, making it difficult for victims/survivors to leave the relationship or maintain independence.

Digital Abuse: The use of technology to control, monitor, or harass a partner, often through invasive actions like hacking accounts or spreading intimate content without consent.

Sexual Coercion: Involves forcing or manipulating a partner into sexual acts against their will, with threats, emotional manipulation, or blackmail.

Reproductive Coercion: Perpetrators may manipulate a partner's reproductive choices by controlling contraception, causing unwanted pregnancies, or pressuring them into having an abortion.

Stalking: Stalking includes persistent and unwanted attention, often crossing boundaries into harassment, both online and in person. It can manifest in various forms, from unsolicited messages to uninvited visits.

Seeking Support

If you or someone you know is experiencing interpersonal violence, seeking help is essential. There are several resources available, including:

National Domestic Violence Hotline: This 24/7 hotline offers support and information for individuals experiencing domestic violence. You can reach them at 1-800-799-7233.

Local Resources: Local and national offices are dedicated to preventing and addressing domestic violence. They provide resources, education, and support. Check out sources such as or if you’re local to North Carolina, the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Our Counseling Services: The counselors at Thrivemind Counseling and Wellness are here to help you or your loved ones overcome the trauma of interpersonal violence. Our compassionate and knowledgeable counselors are ready to provide the guidance and support needed to heal and rebuild your life.

Remember, interpersonal violence is never the fault of the victim/survivor. Recognizing the signs and seeking help is the first step towards breaking the cycle of abuse and building a safer, healthier future. You are not alone, and there is hope for a brighter tomorrow.


Mercy, James A., et al. (2017). Interpersonal Violence: Global Impact and Paths to

National Domestic Violence Hotline (2020). Warning Signs of Abuse.

National Domestic Violence Hotline (2020). Types of Abuse.


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