To experience an interactive Teen Power and Control Wheel, click here.
What is Dating Violence?
Dating violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner.
A Pattern of Behavior
Calling dating violence a pattern doesn’t mean the first instance of abuse is not dating violence. It just recognizes that dating violence usually involves a series of abusive behaviors over a course of time.
Every relationships is different, but the one thing that is common to most abusive dating relationships is that the violence escalates over time and becomes more and more dangerous for the young victim.
Power and Control
The definition also points out that at the core of dating violence are issues of power and control. The diagram below from loveisrespect.org details how violent words and actions are tools an abusive partner uses to gain and maintain power and control over his or her partner.