Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Information for Professionals

Understanding Domestic Abusers

“Research has demonstrated that intimate partner violence [IPV] is not a unitary phenomenon.”1  Patterns of IPV discussed in this section include abuse (coercive controlling violence), responsive violence, and fights (situational couple violence). These differ in their dynamics, context, effects, the gender of the actors, and the forms of intervention required.2

In this comprehensive discussion, we cover:

Language notes


Next: Domestic Abuse- Coercive Controlling Violence

  1. Kelly, J.B. & Johnson, M.P. (2008) Differentiation among types of intimate partner violence: Research update & implications for interventions, Family Court Review, 46 (3), July 2008 476 –499.
  2. Separation-Instigated Violence, a fourth type identified by Kelly & Johnson, is not discussed here.