Relationships & Family

Understanding Dating Violence

Relationships can be complicated and they all look a little different. Healthy relationships include healthy communication, healthy boundaries, mutual respect, and support for one another. Everyone deserves to be respected in a relationship.

Unhealthy behaviors in relationships can range from disrespect to any form of domestic violence, dating abuse , or even sexual misconduct. Understanding types of abuse and their warning signs will better prepare you to identify them for yourself or others.

Types of Abuse

Abuse in a relationship is a set of behaviors that are used gain or maintain power and control over a partner. Abuse has many different forms including:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional & verbal abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Digital abuse
  • Stalking

Some warning signs of abuse can include: 

  • Checking their partner's phone, email, or social media accounts without the other partner's permission.
  • Putting their partner down frequently, especially in front of others.
  • Isolating their partner from friends or family (physically, financially, or emotionally).
  • Extreme jealousy or insecurity.
  • Explosive outbursts, temper, or mood swings.
  • Any form of physical harm.
  • Possessiveness or controlling behavior.
  • Pressuring the other person or forcing them to have sex.

Unhealthy or abusive relationships usually get worse. If you or someone you know needs help, consider talking to a trusted friend, family member, or mentor. Create a safety plan and visit the helplines and resources below. 

Additional Resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline : 800-799-7233

National Center for Victims of Crime: 855-4-VICTIM (855-484-2846)

Ally Network Crisis Support Directory

Love Is Respect