Close the Door on Intimate Partner Violence The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines intimate partner violence as actual or threatened physical or sexual violence, or psychological and emotional abuse, directed at a spouse, former spouse, current or former boyfriend or girlfriend, or dating partner. Domestic Violence Abuse often begins with verbal behaviors such as name-calling, threats, and hitting or throwing objects. It can become worse, including pushing, slapping, and holding against the victim's will. Recognizing Domestic Violence Domestic violence is behavior someone uses to control a spouse, partner, date or elderly relative through fear and intimidation. Recognizing a Partner's Emotional Abuse Physical violence is just one form of domestic abuse. If you have a partner who verbally humiliates you, demands all your attention, blames you for everything that goes wrong or threatens to harm you or your children, you’re also being abused. What You Can Do to Prevent Child Abuse Child abuse can happen in any family and in any neighborhood. Studies have shown that child abuse crosses all boundaries of income, race, ethnic heritage and religious faith.