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What is Dating Violence?

Dating violence is when one partner attempts to gain power and control over the other by using various forms of abuse.  These unhealthy relationships can include emotional, verbal, physical, and/or sexual abuse.

Here are some examples of different types of abuse:


controlling where you go ● isolating you from friends/family ● hiding your belongings ● making you think you’re crazy ● telling you what to eat or how to dress ● humiliating you alone or in front of others ● blaming you for everything that goes wrong ● excessive  calling or “checking up on” you ● intimidating/scaring you ● accusing you of cheating ● manipulating/telling lies ● threatening suicide ● twisting your words around ● forcing you to use drugs and alcohol ● destroying your personal property/sentimental items


put-downs/insults ● degrading personal remarks ● threatens to harm you or people you care about and/or pets ● verbally attacking you alone or in front of others ● using threatening tone of voice ● excessive yelling/raised voice


grabbing ● physical restraint ● hitting with object or fist ● punching ● kicking ● biting ● slapping ● pushing ● twisting arms/hands ● throwing things ● strangling ● scratching ● pushing you out of car ● use of weapon(knife, gun, bat) ● animal cruelty ● pulling/grabbing hair ● pinching


unwanted touching ● pressures you sexually ● uses threats and manipulation to force you into sexual activity ● obscene phone calls including sexual comments/suggestions ● forcing you…(to do anything sexual you don’t want) ● rape

Every relationship is different and can include one or many of the behaviors above.  Any one of these occurring in a relationship is unhealthy and dangerous.  Fear is usually a component in an unhealthy relationship, you should never be afraid of your partner.

A healthy relationship has open and honest communication and an even playing field on which partners share power and control over decisions and view one another as equals.

Here are some healthy components that every relationship should have:

  • Both partners are truly EQUAL
  • Respect each other’s feelings, space, privacy, property, family and friends
  • Communicate / have healthy discussions even when you disagree
  • Be completely HONEST about your thoughts and feelings
  • TRUST each other – both partners can have friends with no accusations of cheating
  • Have “space” – spend time with your friends and family, away from your partner
  • Your relationship should be fun and exciting – never hurtful or abusive
Fear and control are never part of a TRULY HEALTHY relationship.  If you are being controlled in your relationship, you are not alone! When you are ready to seek help, call our 24-hour crisis line at (847) 249-4450 or 1-800-600-SAFE.
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