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What is Relationship Violence?

Relationship violence can exist in a dating relationship, a marriage, between friends and even between room-mates. It can occur in any type of relationship regardless of sexual orientation, ethnicity, social class or income level.

Violence in a relationship can be verbal, emotional, sexual or physical. Many violent relationships follow a pattern, often referred to as the Cycle of Violence. In a violent or abusive relationship one partner feels the need to be in control and uses a variety of tactics to maintain this control.

Oftentimes verbal violence is ignored early in a relationship. Be aware that in many cases a person who uses verbal violence will eventually progress to the use of physical violence. Many people who are involved in an abusive/violent relationship tend to minimize the violence or fail to recognize what is happening. It is important to recognize early indicators of violence and to prioritize you own safety. Remember, relationship violence is all about control.

Verbal Abuse

Verbal abuse often leads to a loss of self-esteem, and includes:

  • Name calling
  • Embarrassing their partner in public or in front of friends
  • Put downs – often in front of others
  • Continually criticizing, often in public
  • Making threats, threatening one's safety

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse often results in feelings of shame and loss of self-esteem. Examples include:

  • Ignoring the feelings of one's partner
  • Isolating the individual from friends and family; demanding all time be spent with them
  • Withholding affection and approval as punishment
  • Making all decisions in the relationship
  • Ridiculing beliefs, values, heritage, appearance, etc.
  • Controlling their partner's every move – how they dress, where they go, who they can spend time with, who they talk to, etc.,
  • Extreme jealousy and accusations of infidelity
  • Keeping tables on the individual – asking where they have been and with whom
  • Blaming their partner for everything that happens, avoiding personal responsibility

Sexual Abuse

Examples include:

  • Calling their partner sexually derogatory names
  • Unwanted or uncomfortable touching
  • Pressuring their partner to perform sexual acts that make them uncomfortable
  • Forced sex

Physical Abuse

This is probably the form of abuse that most people are familiar with. It includes:

  • Preventing their partner from leaving
  • Throwing objects
  • Pushing, shoving, hair-pulling
  • Scratching, hitting, kicking
  • Threatening, or using weapons

2017-01-27T09:36:14.892-06:00 2017
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