Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse
Adjudicating This Hidden Dimension of Domestic Violence Cases
National Judicial Education Program
Welcome, Guest
Log in Log out Register Background Resources Course Information Help Contact Us    
‹‹ Return Proceed ››

Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse Course Home

About the Course

Sexual abuse is far more prevalent in cases involving other forms of intimate partner violence than is generally recognized. Recent research with battered women reveals that intimate partner sexual abuse is a hidden but frequent aspect of family violence with significant implications for the courts.

The term "intimate partner sexual abuse" encompasses a continuum of behaviors ranging from verbal degradation relating to sexuality to felony-level sexual abuse and torture. Cases involving this type of abuse present specific and complex challenges for the judiciary, beyond the overarching goal of protecting victims and their children while ensuring due process for the accused. Intimate partner sexual abuse is an important factor in risk assessment; in decision-making in civil, criminal, family, juvenile and probate cases; and in custody and visitation determinations. Thus, it is important for the justice system to have strategies that encourage victims to disclose such abuse and resources for effective offender dispositions and management.

This website provides current interdisciplinary research from law, medicine and the social sciences that is applicable to judicial decision-making and case management. The site can be treated as a course or as a resource to be consulted as needed.

The research and cases cited throughout this course contain graphic descriptions of sexual and physical violence and may be extremely disturbing.

General Information → About the Course
‹‹ Return Proceed ››
Logo: State Justice Institute