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The definition also points out that at the core of dating violence are issues of power and control.

The diagram below from details how violent words and actions are tools an abusive partner uses to gain and maintain power and control over his or her partner.

Respect for both oneself and others is a key characteristic of healthy relationships.

In contrast, in unhealthy relationships, one partner tries to exert control and power over the other physically, sexually, and/or emotionally.

Do they make you feel bad for having less money than they do? Does this person try to control your friendships (e.g., place restrictions on whom you can see and when you can see them)? Does this person threaten to harm your friends if you continue seeing them or if they try to help you? Does this person monitor you phone calls, check your texts, misuse your social media outlets (i.e. Getting easily upset by small annoyances and lash out verbally or physically as a means of coping with the situation? If after looking over this list you answered “yes” to more questions than you are comfortable with, it is possible that the relationship you were evaluating is not a healthy one.

Do they make you feel beholden to them for their financial assistance? Does this person make you feel incompetent to make your own decisions? facebook twitter) as a way of knowing what you are doing? Does this person threaten violence toward you or toward self (i.e., suicide threats) in order to make you stay in the relationship? Does this person exhibit an obsession with pornography? Does this person seem to pay close attention to how you are dressed? If you would like to learn more or talk about ways to improve this relationship, we have advocates available to provide confidential crisis intervention and emotional support through the Women and Gender Advocacy Center.

The more that you answer “yes” to these possibilities, the greater likelihood of a problem.Violent words and actions are tools an abusive partner uses to gain and maintain power and control over their partner.Any young person can experience dating abuse or unhealthy relationship behaviors, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic standing, ethnicity, religion or culture.Verbal and emotional abuse are very often minimized by people, i.e.“My partner is not abusive..don’t hit me.” If any of these indicators are present in a relationship, it is crucial that each partner gets help before it gets worse.

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