Intimate Partner Violence Issues and Attitudes - Violence On Our Minds, The American Psychological Association Considers The Issues, Preventing Relationship Violence
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Recent adoption and use of the term "intimate partner violence," instead of "wife battering," "spouse abuse," or "domestic violence," is one sign of changing views about violent relationships. Intimate partner violence describes a broader range of abusive relationships, including psychological abuse and social isolation, and acknowledges that violence occurs among unmarried and same-sex partners as well as among persons who do not live together. Also, the term is generally used to describe "a continuing pattern of behavior rather than a single violent act," according to a report of the American Medical Association's Council on Scientific Affairs titled AMA Data on Violence between Intimates (http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/13577.html, December 2000 [accessed January 31, 2005]).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes that use of consistent terminology is vital for researchers collecting data about the scope of the problem. The centers made a move to establish tracking systems, identify high-risk populations, and assess the results of prevention programs with the publication of Intimate Partner Violence Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Data Elements by Linda E. Saltzman, Janet L. Fanslow, Pamela M. McMahon, and Gene A. Shelley (Atlanta, GA: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002). The report attempted to standardize terminology in order to enable researchers, health care professionals, and policy makers to use the same terms to describe comparable violent acts.