Domestic violence is a pattern of escalating abusive, controlling and violent behavior toward a partner in an intimate relationship.
Domestic violence can occur in intimate relationships between people of any age, ethnic group, profession, religious affiliation, socioeconomic status or sexual orientation, whether or not they are married or living together. Abuse is NOT more or less common in same sex, queer or transgender relationships.
Abuse can happen on a regular basis or only sporadically. Abusers will sometimes even threaten to harm themselves as a way of making victims feel guilty.
Dating violence involves a pattern of control and power exerted over a dating partner.
Teen dating violence is not “domestic violence lite” and can be just as serious and violent as abuse within an adult relationship. Abusive relationships can begin at your very first dating experience and can affect how you interact in relationships for the rest of your life.
There are many similarities between domestic violence and teen dating violence. Both situations are based on power and control: abusive behaviors can become a pattern, which becomes a cycle that is harder and harder to break no matter your age. Abuse can be physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, or financial and affects people regardless of their race, ethnicity, class, education, religion, or sexual orientation.
But there are unique differences between teen relationships and adult relationships, including:
Although every situation is different, the following types of behavior by an intimate partner are signs of an abusive relationship:
If you and/or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or you are concerned about your or another’s safety, call our SafeLink statewide hotline for help at 877-785-2020.