September 20, 2021


Content developed by YWCA Spokane Domestic Violence Action Month Committee.

An Educational Series About Intimate Partner Domestic Violence

To prepare you for success while taking our From Survive To Thrive educational series, we would like to talk about intersectionality and other definitions that will help provide you with a foundation for further exploration into the complexities of domestic violence and the challenges survivors face.

DV Education Series: | Intersectionality | Physiological | Safety | Love & Belonging | Esteem | Self-Actualization | Thank You

Intimate Partner Violence

YWCA Spokane is federally funded to provide free and confidential services to survivors of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). IPV includes any behavior that one intimate partner (current or former) uses to establish power and control over another intimate partner. This may include physical or sexual violence and/or financial, emotional/psychological, cultural, spiritual, and reproductive abuse as well as other forms of controlling behavior. Learn about the difference between IPV and domestic violence.

IPV Can Happen To Anyone

This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or LGBTQ+ couples and does not require sexual intimacy. IPV is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. IPV can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death. The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.

Intersectionality & Why It Is Important

Intersectionality is a term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw and is used to acknowledge the way our different identities intersect and overlap. Looking at things through the lens of intersectionality helps acknowledge the multiple and overlapping challenges, circumstances, and forms of discriminations (racism, sexism, and classism, etc..) a person may face. For example, Black women will experience domestic violence differently because they face both racism and sexism. A person with a disability may face an additional challenge in getting access to services. By being mindful of these realities, we can better understand and advocate for equality.

By looking through the lens of intersectionality, our team at YWCA Spokane is able to broaden perspectives, acknowledge experiences and circumstances unique to the survivor, and customize an approach to support each survivor through a variety of services including, safety planning, legal services, housing, clothing/necessities, skill building, therapy, and employment services.

Learn more about Intersectionality by visiting Day 5 of our Racial Equity & Social Justice 14-Day Challenge. 

What Is Really Going On?

We often hear stigmas and misconceptions that focus blame on a survivor instead of shining the spotlight on those perpetrating the violent behavior.  We want to change the narrative and shift questions like “why don’t they just leave?” to questions like “why is that being done to them?” It can be easy to assume the safest thing a survivor can do is leave an abusive relationship. When the truth is, the most LETHAL time in an abusive relationship is right after a victim leaves. More than 70% of domestic violence murders happen after a person exits the relationship. View more devastating statistics here. 

Leaving isn’t easy. On average, a victim attempts to leave 7 times before finally being able to leave for good. The victim of relationship abuse has often been isolated, is not able to make their own money, will receive threats that their children will be taken away from them, threats of deportation, and may have no where else to go. Visit our power & control wheel to view additional forms of manipulation. 

If You Have…

10 Minutes


15-20 Minutes


30 Minutes

and and
Read this issue brief 
from the Women of Color Network that identifies the unique ways IPV affects various communities of color.
and Watch this TED Talk 
that addresses unique barriers survivors who are African American face as they engage with social support systems.
and Read this blog post
by Mia, a YWCA Spokane Advocate, that takes a deeper look at race, poverty, and access to wellbeing in America.


DV Education Series: | Intersectionality | Physiological | Safety | Love & Belonging | Esteem | Self-Actualization | Thank You

By: Rachel Dannen

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