Several factors have been found to be related to IPV, including a history of IPV in the offender’s family and excessive alcohol use (Leonard, 2005; Lipsky et al., 2005). Educational programs can help educate the public about intimate partner violence. Safe housing for victims of IPV can also reduce the likelihood of future abuse. Today there are thousands of battered women’s shelters across the United States. These shelters pro­vide women with several important things, including information and a safe haven. Often these centers have 24-hour hotlines that can help women who are struggling with issues related to domestic violence (see the Web Resources at the end of this chapter for other hotline options). Increasing the availability of safe houses and counseling and ed­ucation is imperative. In addition, increasing the availability of services for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, elderly, and disabled women and men will help ensure that help is available for all who may need it.


Intimate partner violence in les­bian relationships looks similar to IPV in heterosexual relationships.



Describe what we know about the development of intimate partner violence and how it relates to sexual and physical abuse.


^SEXUAL HARASSMENT———————————————————————————————– ‘

Sexual harassment is a very broad term that includes anything from jokes, unwanted sexual advances, a “friendly” pat, an “accidental” brush on a person’s body, or an arm around a person (Cammaert, 1985). It can also include unwanted sexual attention on­line (Barak, 2005). Because of the wide variety of actions that fall under this definition, many people are confused about what exactly constitutes sexual harassment.

In the United States, the courts recognize two types of sexual harassment, including quid pro quo harassment and hostile environment harassment. Quid pro quo (mean­ing “this for that”) harassment occurs when a person is required to engage in some type of sexual conduct in exchange for a certain grade, employment, or other benefit. For ex­ample, a teacher or employer might offer you a better grade for engaging in sexual be­havior. Another type of sexual harassment involves being subjected to unwelcome re­peated sexual comments or visually offensive material that creates a hostile work environment and interferes with work or school. For example, a student or employee might repeatedly tell sexual jokes or send them via the Internet.

It may seem that sexual harassment is not as shocking as other forms of sexual co­ercion, but the effects of harassment on the victim can be traumatic and often cause long-term difficulties. Fitzgerald and Ormerod claim that “there are many similarities be­tween sexual harassment and other forms of sexual victimization, not only in the secrecy that surrounds them but also in the [myth] that supports them” (1991, p. 2). Severe or chronic sexual harassment can cause psychological side effects similar to rape and sex­ual assault, and in extreme cases it has been known to contribute to suicide. In 1996, the family of one woman who worked for the Postal Service was awarded $5.5 million when their daughter committed suicide as a result of repeated sexual harassment at work (Employment Practices Solutions, 1996).


sexual harassment

Unwanted sexual attention from someone in school or the workplace; also includes unwel­come sexual jokes, glances, or comments, or the use of status and/or power to coerce or at­tempt to coerce a person into having sex.


I quid pro quo harassment

A type of sexual harassment that involves sub­mission to a particular type of conduct, either explicitly or implicitly, in order to get education or employment.


hostile environment harassment

A type of sexual harassment that occurs when an individual is subjected to unwelcome re­peated sexual comments, innuendoes, or visu­ally offensive material or touching that inter­feres with school or work.


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