Dating abuse or IPV can happen in many types of relationships. The relationship can be between two people who are dating casually, in a committed relationship, living together, with kids, without kids, married or divorced. It can be between teenagers, young people, adults, and individuals of any gender.

Abuse is a Cycle

Dating abuse isn’t just an argument every once in a while. In abusive relationships, there is a pattern of controlling and/or violent behavior: the abuse happens again and again, and it usually gets worse over time.

Sometimes it might be hard to tell if you are experiencing dating abuse if you don’t have a lot of experience with relationships, if the abuse is subtle, or if you are just not sure. There is more information below about warning signs and types of abuse.

Warning Signs of Abuse

You should be on the look out for:

  • Extreme jealousy or insecurity

  • Constant put-downs

  • Possessiveness or treating you like property

  • Telling you what to do

  • Constantly checking in on you

  • Explosive temper

  • Making false accusations

  • Isolating you from your friends and family

  • Preventing you from doing things you want to do

  • Repeated crossing of boundaries

  • Taking away your ability to make choices

  • Coercion, or pressuring you to do things you don’t want to do

  • Monitoring who you talk to or what you post on social media

Abusive behavior can be physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, financial, technological or spiritual. Sometimes it’s subtle, and sometimes it’s extreme.

There is nothing you can say or do to deserve being abused. Abuse is never your fault.

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