This article addresses the neglected topic of community in relation to intimate partner abuse (IPA). We observe that in discourse about IPA,‘community’ is generally conceptualized either to refer to professionals working in the community or to minority ethnic communities, whereby‘community’ is portrayed as an oppressive entity which sanctions violence against women. Neither of these uses addresses the victim or perpetrator’s informal social networks. We argue that more research is needed to examine how communities of all kinds challenge or support IPA, without resorting to the polarization of ‘community’ as either entirely benign or entirely dangerous. Using data from an ethnographic study of an ethnically diverse community in the north of England, we argue that ‘community’ is used to construct responses to IPA in diverse, nuanced ways, which should inform efforts to build intolerance of such violence.