What is dating abuse?

 “Dating abuse is a pattern of destructive behavior used to exert power and control over a dating partner.”


That abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, digital, financial, and/or sexual.

Sometimes, dating abuse is very easy to see or define, such as hitting and punching, but other times it can be very subtle, like comments such as, “I don’t want you to hang out with Suzy because I care about you.” That comment may not seem overly “abusive” but when it is made to control and isolate another person it crosses the line from caring into abusive. It is a comment that is meant to force someone to behave a certain way. Forcing someone to do something is aggression, and being aggressive is abusive.

Violence and/or aggressive/controlling behavior = abuse

Here are just a few examples of the different types of dating abuse behaviors:

Some examples of PHYSICAL abuse include intentional…

Hitting, slapping, biting, kicking, grabbing, shaking, burning, choking, throwing, shoving, locking or restraining a person alone in a room.

DID YOU KNOW? 10% of students in grades 9-12 report some sort of physical violence against them (physical aggression is reported by 30-50% of teens).

Some examples of EMOTIONAL or PSYCHOLOGICAL abuse include…

Threats, rumors and insults with the intention to control, embarrass or humiliate the partner OR to isolate the partner from his or her parents/family/friends. This includes, controlling what the partner does, who s/he sees and talks to, limiting outside involvement, using jealousy to justify actions, name-calling, playing mind games, making a partner feel guilty, destroying property, even abusing pets.

For example:

Threatening to leave or commit suicide (“I’m going to kill myself if you break up with me!”)

Saying the abuse never happened (“That’s not abuse. I never abused you. You’re making it all up!”)

Making the partner do illegal things (“If you don’t steal the money for me, you will be really sorry!”)

Threatening to expose something the partner did (“Remember those naked photos I took of you….?”)

Telling malicious (meaning mean or evil) lies about the partner to other people (“She’s really easy. Go out with her and you’ll get what you want.”)

Some examples of SEXUAL abuse include forced…

kissing, touching, intercourse, penetration, WHETHER SOBER OR NOT. Any form of manipulation or making threats to get sex is abuse. (Note: Feeling guilty about a sexual act committed under the influence of alcohol or drugs, when you were not forced, is not sexual abuse. It’s guilt. And it commonly occurs with alcohol or drug use and sex. Feeling guilty that you forced someone into a sexual act while you were under the influence of drugs and alcohol IS abuse coupled with guilt.)

DID YOU KNOW? 8% of high school students report forced sexual intercourse.

Examples of what people might say before sexual abuse:

“If you really loved me, you’d show me.”

“But I just find you so beautiful/hot, I can’t control myself.”

“You know you want to. Come on, just for me?”


An example of FINANCIAL abuse would be….

Being told how to spend/save your money. For example:

“You’re buying tonight.” And you probably buy every night.

“You can’t spend your money on that. I won’t allow it.”

“You need to give me some money or I won’t date you.”


An example of digital abuse would be….

Hacking into your private emails, texts, etc., or posting personal information about you without your permission.

Some examples include:

“Who’s texting you right now?”

“Who’s that that you have a streak with? I don’t want you snapping him/her.”

“I posted that picture because you look so hot, everyone should see your body.”

Just btw, please don’t share your passwords with anyone! If you are pressured to do so, that’s a very clear sign to NOT share, like ever. 

This topic is heavy, so fasten your seat belt and hold on. Warning signs are up next….

Post Question:

Do you recognize any of these behaviors in someone you know? How does that make you feel?

Answer the post question here

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What's being said

  • WLKHS1110
    Posted at 12:48h, 09 November Reply

    i do not see these actions in someone i know. This makes me happy bevause i know that they are not in an abusive relationship

  • wlkhs1319
    Posted at 16:37h, 08 November Reply

    I do not really recognize these behaviors in someone i know but if i were to i would feel uncomfortable and worried. The reason would feel that way is that what they they are doing is wrong and pathetic.

  • WLKHS1302
    Posted at 16:32h, 08 November Reply

    I do not recognize any of these behaviors in anybody i know, especially not my boyfriend. The abusive behaviors spoken about in this topic are very important and should be brought into a brighter light. Dating abuse is serious and i am glad i am not in an abusive relationship.

  • WLKHS1304
    Posted at 16:26h, 08 November Reply

    I do not know anyone with any of these behaviors, but if i did i would be concerned and probobly let someone i trust know.

  • wlkhs1321
    Posted at 16:17h, 08 November Reply

    I do not recognize these harsh behaviors in anyone I know. Although I know many people in relationships, I have never seen nor witnessed any signs of abusive content between the two. However, if I did know anyone who was experiencing an abusive relationship, I would feel horrible and scared for the person. I would also most definitely do something to help.

  • WLKHS1310
    Posted at 16:14h, 08 November Reply

    I do not recognize any of these behaviors in someone I know. Although nobody I know experiences these behaviors, whether I knew somebody or not going through an unhealthy relationship I would feel horrible for the person. I would also feel scared for the person and would want to help in anyway I could.

  • WLKHS1416
    Posted at 14:11h, 08 November Reply

    I do recognize these behaviors in someone I know. They make me upset to a certain extent but I feel as if some of these can be justified. For example, if someone was dating someone else, and they had a streak with their ex, and their ex seems to be infatuated with them, it would be okay to politely ask them to end their streak. I do some of these things but just because I am very protective and have some trust issues due to previous relationships.

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