Intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV), sometimes known as sexual assault in the context of domestic violence, is a pervasive and often hidden problem that warrants the focused attention of victim advocates, mental health and law enforcement personnel, and other professionals. IPSV creates a highly dangerous situation and is associated with increased risk of death, severe long-term trauma for victims, physical and psychological harm for children, and repeated victimization. From teens in abusive dating relationships to adults with long-time partners who use sex as a weapon of power and control, survivors of IPSV often feel isolated and misunderstood by the very professionals to whom they turn for help. Because IPSV involves both domestic violence and sexual assault, victims' needs may not be fully addressed by services focusing on one or the other of these issues.
This curriculum is designed to be used and adapted for a variety of audiences. While the training was designed for victim advocates, it should be of use to any professional who may encounter people affected by IPSV. Some information in the presentation can also be adapted for use with community audiences.