What is Dating Violence or Domestic Violence?
Dating/Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to exert power and control over a partner. Dating/Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure or wound someone. Dating/Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, sexual orientation, social economics, education, age, religion, etc. Dating/Domestic violence can also affect family, friends, co-workers and members in the community, in addition to the victim and abuser. Domestic violence can occur regardless of the relationship status, including individuals who are dating, cohabitating, or married.
Types of Dating/Domestic Violence That Includes Sexual Misconduct
There usually is a pattern or a repeated cycle of dating violence, starting with the first instance of abuse.
General Pattern of Behavior:
- Tension Building: Relationship begins to get strained or tense between partners.
- Explosion: Outburst that includes verbal, emotional, or physical abuse.
Honeymoon: Apologies where the abuser tries to re-connect with his/her partner by shifting the blame onto someone or something else.
Definitions of What Dating/Domestic Violence Looks Like
Any actions used for the intent of gaining power and control over a person:
- Physical Abuse: any intentional use of physical force with the intent to cause injury (i.e. grabbing in a way to inflict pain, hitting, shoving, strangling, kicking)
- Emotional Abuse: non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring, humiliation, intimidation, isolation, silent treatment, or stalking
Sexual Abuse: any action that impacts the partner’s ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstance which sexual activity occurs, including rape, coercion or restricting access to birth control
Warnings or Signs of Potential Dating/Domestic ViolenceAsk yourself if your partner engages in one or any of the following activities:
- Checks my cell phone or email without my permission.
- Monitors where I’m going, who I’m going with, what I’m doing.
- Repeatedly says or does things to make me feel inadequate or inferior to him/her.
- Extreme jealously or insecurity.
- Isolates me from my friends and family.
- Explosive temper.
- Mood swings.
- Assumes financial control over my access to financial resources.
- Tells me what to do.
Physically hurts me in any way.