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The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines domestic violence or intimate partner violence as a continuum ranging from a single episode to ongoing episodes of abuse that may include physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, and psychological aggression used by one individual on another party within the context of an intimate relationship [3].

The perpetrator or victim can be male or female, and the abuse can be perpetrated within a dating relationship or marital dyad or within a heterosexual or homosexual context.

For purposes of this rule, the definitions below apply.

Domestic violence is characterized by a cluster of behaviors that an individual in an intimate relationship uses to control and maintain power over his or her partner [1].

These behaviors include physical, psychological, verbal, sexual, and economic/financial actions to threaten, assault, and ultimately control the victim.

Power, intimidation, and control are key dimensions to abuse, and advances in online and offline technology offer a new arsenal of tools for abusers.

Cell phones, video cameras, and global positioning systems (GPS) are examples of offline technologies domestic violence perpetrators may use to harass, intimidate, and locate victims.

Perpetrators may call victims' cell phones or text message incessantly asking where they are, what they are doing, and who they are with.

Abusers also utilize Internet tools like e-mail and social networking sites to threaten and intimidate.

The purpose of this course is to increase healthcare professionals' awareness of how Internet and digital technologies can place victims at risk, allowing for better patient education.

Practitioners are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these new technological tools, reformulate ways of thinking about safety planning, and consider about how to best educate the general public on how technology has changed the face of intimate partner violence.