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What is Abuse?

Dating or domestic abuse occurs when one partner uses different types of abusive behavior to gain POWER and CONTROL over the other partner.

Dating or domestic violence is a pattern of behavior that can include emotional/mental/verbal, financial, physical, sexual, and social abuse.

Abuse can happen to anyone! Teens and adults experience abuse in their relationships at the exact same rate! Dating abuse can happen to anyone, no matter their sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, income level, educational and/or national background!

It is important for victims/survivors of abuse to find local resources like a domestic violence agency or counselor and to have trusted friends or family members who can keep their confidentiality and give them nonjudgmental support. When a victim/survivor of abuse is thinking about leaving their abusive relationship, it is best to ask for help. Leaving an abusive relationship can be dangerous, so if you or anyone you know is being abused, please contact a local domestic violence agency or counselor to help plan for safety. Check out our More Information page to locate resources near you or call the National Teen Dating Violence Helpline at 1-866-331-9474 or 1-866-331-8543 TTY

Examples of Abusive Behavior

  • Emotional/Mental/Verbal
  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Financial Abuse
  • Social Abuse
  • Red Flags

  • Red Flags
  • Power and Control Wheel

  • Power and Control Wheel