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Relationship Violence

Relationship violence includes actions or words that cause a person to feel fear or intimidation. Relationship violence is about a perpetrator having power and control over another person; it’s not about a person being “out of control.”

Relationship violence does not only mean physical violence (hitting, slapping, kicking, choking, pushing, punching, or beating); there are many other equally as traumatizing abusive behaviors, such as:

  • Verbal Abuse: constant criticism, mocking, yelling, swearing, interrupting, or not responding to what the victim is saying.
  • Sexual Violence: forcing sex on an unwilling partner, demanding sexual acts the victim does not want to perform, or degrading treatment.
  • Isolation: making it hard for a victim to see family/friends, monitoring phone calls, controlling where victim goes, or taking away the car keys.
  • Coercion: making the victim feel guilty, manipulating family members, or making up impossible “rules” and punishing the victim for breaking them.
  • Harassment: following or stalking, embarrassing the victim in public, constantly checking up on the victim, or refusing to leave when asked.
  • Economic Control: refusing to give the victim money or giving a small “allowance,” not letting the victim work, interfering with the victim’s work, or refusing to work.
  • Abusing Trust: lying, breaking promises, being unfaithful, or being overly jealous.
  • Threats and Intimidation: threatening to harm the victim, family members, pets, shouting, or using physical size.
  • Emotional Withholding: not expressing feelings, not taking the victim’s concerns seriously, or not respecting the victim’s feelings.
  • Destruction of Property: destroying furniture, punching walls, breaking dishes, or destroying the victim’s personal belongings.
  • Self-Destructive Behavior: abusing drugs or alcohol, driving recklessly, or threatening suicide or self-harm.

Source: The Idaho Coalition’s publication “It shouldn’t hurt to go home.”