Domestic violence/dating violence/relationship violence is a pattern of abusive behavior by one partner to another that can include physical, emotional, sexual or economic abuse. It's all about control and power.

It can happen between two people who are just dating, those in a long-term relationship or between partners who have been together for years. Abusers may say they're acting out of love and concern, but what they're really doing is manipulating and controlling, exerting their power over their partners.

If you think you may be in an abusive relationship, it's not your fault. You can get support. You can get help.

"How do I know if I am in an abusive relationship?"

  • Are you being insulted? Teased constantly? Humiliated?
  • Are you afraid to disagree with you partner?
  • Do you feel isolated? Afraid to participate in family activities with your partner? Afraid to get together with friends when you're with your partner?
  • Are you being hit, shoved, kicked, grabbed, punched or choked?
  • Are you being forced to have sex?
  • Are you unable to have access to your own finances?

Adapted from the University of Denver’s “Other Forms of Sexual Assault” webpage (Center for Advocacy and Prevention, 2014).