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Community Against Violence
Relationship violence is a pattern of manipulative behavior aimed at gaining power or control over an intimate or romantic partner. It occurs in relationships regardless of gender or sexual orientation and can include: emotional, physical, resource, sexual, and verbal abuse.
What is relationship violence?
Relationship violence may include, but is not limited to:
- Throwing, smashing, or breaking objects
- Hitting, punching, grabbing, choking, scratching, or pinching
- Blocking a partner’s exit when he/she tries to leave the room
- Threatening to “out” one’s partner if in a same-sex relationship
- Insisting on always knowing the location of his/her partner
- Insisting how his/her partner should dress
- Calling a partner degrading names
- Withholding affection as a form of punishment
- Mocking, ridiculing, or insulting his/her partner’s religious or spiritual beliefs
- Forcing another faith practice on his/her partner
- Criticizing and controlling how his/her partner spends his/her money
- Leaving his/her partner somewhere with no way to get home
Emotional abuse includes controlling someone’s behavior or actions, isolating a person from friends and family; making threats against a person, his/her family, friends and pets; using social media to make threats.
Physical abuse includes hitting, shoving, slapping, pushing, punching, burning, and stabbing. It can also include withholding access to needed medical care or medication.
Resource abuse includes taking or controlling a partner’s money and/or not allowing or disrupting their ability to work or go to school.
Sexual abuse includes forced sex with an object or with another person and/or forcing someone to have sex without protection.
Verbal abuse includes the use of words or the withholding of communication to manipulate or hurt a partner.
This project was supported by Grant No. 2011-WA-AX-0017 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S., DOJ.
The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.