This chapter explains what intimate partner or “domestic” violence is and how pervasive a problem it remains. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is overwhelmingly a crime perpetrated by men against women. Although some U.S. studies have suggested that IPV is perpetrated equally by men and women, deeper exploration of the facts reveals that this is simply untrue. 1 There may be equal rates of conflict instigated by men and women, but when it comes to violence that rises to the level of criminal activity, offenders are overwhelmingly male. Typically, eighty-five percent or more of restraining orders are obtained against male abusers. 2 A 2007 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) study found that “more than 90 percent of ‘systematic, persistent, and injurious’ violence is perpetrated by men.” 3 The study found that when areas had higher numbers of female perpetrators than other areas had, the violent crime tended to be abuse of elderly by adult children rather than IPV. 4 More recently, the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found that one in four women (22.3 percent) and one in seven men (fourteen percent) had been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner, reiterating 24that IPV happened disproportionally to women. 5 Nonetheless, it is critical to remember that survivors almost uniformly underreport and downplay the abuse they experience, often dismissing it as not serious or underestimating its seriousness, which means that the actual numbers of abused women are likely higher than the surveys report.