Dating abuse also known as dating violence, intimate partner violence, or relationship abuse is a pattern of abusive behaviors -- usually a series of abusive behaviors over a course of time -- used to exert power and control over a dating partner. Every relationship is different, but the things that unhealthy and abusive relationships have in common are issues of power and control. Violent words and actions are tools an abusive partner uses to gain and maintain power and control over their partner.
Any young person can experience dating abuse or unhealthy relationship behaviors, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic standing, ethnicity, religion or culture. There are some warning signs that can help you identify if your relationship is unhealthy or abusive, including the examples below.
Remember, the abuse is never your fault, and asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of. Teens and young adults experience the same types of abuse as adults, including: Any intentional use of physical force with the intent to cause fear or injury, like hitting, shoving, biting, strangling, kicking or using a weapon.
Verbal or Emotional Abuse: Non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring, humiliation, intimidation, isolation or stalking.
Being repeatedly watched, followed, monitored or harassed. Stalking can occur online or in person, and may or may not include giving unwanted gifts. Exerting power and control over a partner through their finances, including taking or withholding money from a partner, or prohibiting a partner from earning, or spending their money.
Here are a few examples: When Amber laughs off the jealousy, Tommy, whose hand she is holding, squeezes her hand — hard. Julia is really into fitness, but her partner, Ty, isn't really into it. Every time Julia sees Ty, she makes hurtful comments about his weight and eating habits like, "Are you sure you want to eat that? You're lucky to have someone as hot as me. Jenny and Brad have been sleeping together for a few months. Jenny is concerned about getting pregnant so she starts taking birth control.
He makes a habit of flushing her birth control down the toilet. This is sexual abuse. She starts publically posting the private pictures Monica sent her while away at 4-H camp because she wants Monica to hurt as much as she does. This is digital abuse. Hunter begins following Ash between classes, repeatedly insisting that they should be together. Ana and Ramon have shared custody over their one-year-old son, Brandon. If you or a loved one is in an abusive relationship, help is available. Young people, 12 - 24, in the D.
Find healthy relationship and dating abuse handouts, resources, and more here.