Interpersonal Violence

Interpersonal violence is any form of threatened or completed use of force or power over another individual or group. Acts of interpersonal violence, include forms of violence that are often also referred to as gender-based violence such as sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and stalking. People of all genders are able to experience gender-based violence, however this term is used specifically to acknowledge that these forms of violence are historically rooted in the oppression of women, female-bodied individuals, and individuals who are transgender/ gender non-conforming and disproportionately used against them. 

Sexual Violence:

Sexual violence can range from sexual harassment (such as unwanted/ inappropriate sexual remarks or physical advances) to sexual assault (non-consensual sexual contact) to sexual exploitation.

Relationship Violence:

This is also referred to as domestic violence and intimate partner violence. Relationship violence occurs when one person tries to control the other through emotional, physiological, or physical means.


A pattern of repeated, unwanted attention that causes fear or concern for one’s own safety or the safety of others. Stalking can occur in person, as well as through technology like social media, texting, etc.

Sexual Exploitation:

A type of sexual violence that is any non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for their own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage of others, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct.

Causes of  Interpersonal Violence

First and foremost, victims and survivors are never the cause of the violence they have experienced or are experiencing. An experience with violence is never “asked for” or “provoked”. Instead, acts of interpersonal and gender-based violence are largely rooted in power and control. The Office of Inclusive Excellence Education & Development uses a socio-ecological and anti-oppression framework to understand and respond to violence. As such, it must be acknowledged that forms of relationship violence, sexual violence, and stalking are inextricably linked to other systems of power and oppression along the lines of gender, race, sexuality, ability, etc.