Skip to main content

Welcome to the Ministry of

Social Development, Housing & Community Empowerment

Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate Partner Violence

Are Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Domestic Violence (DV) the same thing?  

Domestic Violence is any form of violence between persons in a domestic relationship.  According to the Domestic Violence Act (2010), people can be in a domestic relationship if they are related by blood, adoption or affinity or if they live in the same household.   

Therefore, domestic violence can occur: 

  • Between persons who are related by blood, such as brothers, sisters, parents and children, uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews, etc.  In a general sense, it includes elder abuse, child abuse and family conflict.  persons in intimate partner relationships, as described above
  • Family members related by adoption. 
  • Persons who are family members because they are related to persons in a marriage or common-law relationship. 
  • Persons who share the same household or residence 
  • Persons who are or were in an intimate relationship of any kind.  

Intimate Partner Violence is a component of Domestic Violence.  It is any controlling or abusive behavior that harms the health, safety or well-being of any person in an intimate relationship that is ongoing, one that is ending, or one that has already ended.  The Domestic Violence Act (2010) protects anyone who has an intimate relationship with someone of the opposite sex. 

Both men and women are at risk of all kinds of domestic violence, including IPV.  However, in Grenada women and girls are the majority of the victims of such abuse which is usually committed by men and boys.  IPV can occur in public and private spaces. Similar to sexual violence, intimate partner violence is also under-reported, and occurs within communities that have gender equality issues.

Which Intimate Relationships are included?

  • Intimate relationships include men and women who: 
  • are currently married, divorced, or separated 
  • are cohabiting as partners, though not legally married 
  • were previously living together as intimate partners before, though not legally married 
  • are parents of a child or have shared parental responsibility for a child 
  • are or were engaged 
  • are or were in a dating or visiting relationship. This includes an actual relationship or a perceived relationship of any duration.

What are the forms of DV? 

Forms of DV are: 

  • Physical abuse or threats of physical abuse 
  • Sexual abuse or threats of sexual of abuse 
  • Emotional, verbal or psychological abuse 
  • Economic abuse 
  • Intimidation 
  • Harassment 
  • Stalking 
  • Damage to or destruction of property 
  • Entry into the applicants residence without consent, where the parties do not share the same residence 

What are your rights if you are experiencing IPV

In 2010, the Parliament of Grenada restructured the 2001 Domestic Violence Act, which makes it easier to take serious action to punish offenders for domestic violence (IPV), and to protect victims from perpetrators.  

If someone is committing domestic violence against you, you have the right: 

  • To ask the police for protection for yourself and your children 
  • To ask the police for assistance in relocating and taking your children with you to a safe place. This could be a shelter, the home of a family member or friend, or any other place. 
  • To apply for a protection order from the court 
  • To seek medical treatment for yourself or your children 
  • To lodge a criminal complaint against the person who committed the violence 

What are the duties of the Police in relation to domestic violence? 

  • The law states that the Police: 
  • MUST respond to every report 
  • inform the victim of his or her rights, and services available 
  • can arrest someone who is suspected of committing intimate partner violence (DV) without a warrant 
  • must assist and protect children 
  • have to a duty to charge offenders under the relevant laws according to the Criminal Code 
  • enforce protection orders 

About Protection Orders 

A Protection Order is a type of Court Order that requires the person against whom the Order is taken (the respondent) to do, or refrain from doing, certain acts as a way of protecting the person making the application to the Court (the applicant).  The Court has authority to decide the guidelines in each Protection Order based on specific circumstances.  

An Interim Protection Order can be issued based only on the documents filed by the Applicant, or someone representing the Applicant.  An Interim Protection Order lasts for no more than twenty-eight days.  A Final Protection Order can be issued only after the Respondent has been provided an opportunity to state his or her case.  The instructions given in a Final Protection Order can be imposed for a maximum of three years.  

The respondent can be prevented from: 

  • Having physical contact with applicant including stalking, harassing and threatening the person
  • Committing domestic violence or asking someone else to commit violence on his or her behalf 
  • Entering the shared household, or certain parts of the shared household 
  • Entering the applicant’s residence, school or workplace 

A Protection Order can instruct the respondent to pay rent or mortgage, or money to the applicant. It also expresses if the respondent has permission or not to have contact with any of the children. The court can also instruct the respondent or the victim to receive approved counseling, psycho-educational programming or therapy. 

Failure to comply with a Protection Order can result in criminal or civil penalties and the respondent may have to pay damages or accept other punishment. Breaches of a Protection Order are considered serious criminal offences that merit arrest and possible prison sentences. 

Who can apply for a Protection Order?

Anyone who has been physically, emotionally or sexually abused or threatened by another person in a domestic relationship can apply to the Magistrate Court for a Protection Order.  In addition, Police officers, the Director of Social Development, Probation Officers and approved Social Workers can apply on the victim’s behalf, if granted permission to do so.