BANGOR — National Intimate Partner Violence Awareness Month – also known as Domestic Violence Awareness Month – is held each October across the U.S. The goal is to remember those who have lost their lives to intimate partner violence, celebrate survivors who have had the strength and courage to make a change, and provide a guiding light to those who wish to safely exit a violent relationship with an intimate partner.

Intimate Partner Violence is when one person in a relationship is using a pattern of methods to gain and maintain power and control over the other person. These measures often involve a cycle that gets worse over time and are not one-time incidents. The defining distinction between IPV and normal conflict is fear. Consider the following:

  • One in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.
  • On a typical day, local domestic violence hotlines receive approximately 19,159 calls – approximately 13 calls every minute.
  • In 2018, domestic violence accounted for 20 percent of all violent crime.
  • Abusers’ access to firearms increases the risk of intimate partner homicide at least five-fold. When firearms have been used in the most severe abuse incident, the risk increases 41-fold.
  • 65 percent of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 96 percent of the victims of these crimes are female.
  • One in five women have been raped, half of these by an intimate partner.
  • LGBTQ+ community experiences high rates of IPV:
    • 1.61 percent of bisexual women
    • 2.44 percent of lesbian women
    • 3.37 percent of bisexual men
    • 4.34 percent of trans people; 64 percent experience sexual assault
    • 5.26 percent of gay men

Northern Light Acadia Hospital has developed a brief video outlining signs we should watch for in those around us who may be experiencing intimate partner violence. Watch the video at northernlighthealth.org/Acadia_IPVA.

If you or someone you know is a victim of IPV, you are encouraged to reach out to the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence hotline at 1-866-834-HELP, or visit their website for helpful resources available to anyone looking to leave an abusive relationship. www.mcedv.org.