tactics which can include physical, psychological, sexual, economic, and emotional abuse against an adult intimate partner, with the goal of establishing and maintaining power and control over the victim. (1)
•Victim: The adult person against whom an abuser directs his coercive and violent acts. (1) Because women represent the vast majority of victims, this policy will refer to abusers as male and to victims as female. Most of the information in this policy, however, will apply to all victims and abusers regardless of their gender or the gender of their partners, including both gay men and lesbians, and men who are abused by their female partners.
•Adult Intimate Partner Relationships: Includes adult persons who are legally married to one another; were formerly married to one another; have a child in common regardless of whether they were ever married or lived together at any time; are unrelated, but living together or have lived together in the past; are unrelated but who have had intimate or continuous social contact with one another and who have access to one another's household; and who have or have had a dating or sexual relationship, including same sex couples. (2)
•System: A group of people and/or organizations that serve a common purpose, i.e., the health care system is made up of formal institutions, both public and private, including hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, visiting nurse associations, and public health agencies; and individuals such as physicians, dentists, and obstetricians in private practice, all of whom have a general interest in improving and treating the health of those they serve. It is also used in this policy to refer to an individual's support network, i.e., an informal system of support may include friends, family members, and community acquaintances.
•Provider: Any person in a position to provide assistance to a victim of domestic violence or to intervene with abusers. Includes persons working in the formal systems included in this policy-criminal justice, legal and judicial, health care, substance abuse, child welfare, mental health, and education-as well as employers, and persons working in other public and private agencies and organizations such as women's centers, departments of social services, child care centers, neighborhood groups, job