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Relationship violence includes actions or words that cause a person in a relationship with the abuse to feel fear or intimidation. Relationship violence is about a perpetrator having power and control over another person; it is not about a person being "out of control."
Relationship violence does not simply mean physical violence (hitting, slapping, kicking, choking, pushing, punching, or beating). There are many other equally as traumatizing abusive behaviors, such as:
- Verbal Abuse-constant criticism, mocking, yelling, swearing, interrupting, or not responding to what the victim is saying.
- Sexual Violence-forcing sex on an unwilling partner, demanding sexual acts the victim does not want to perform, or degrading treatment.
- Isolation-making it hard for victim to see family/friends, monitoring phone calls, controlling where victim goes, or taking car keys.
- Coercion-making the victim feel guilty, manipulating family members, or making up impossible "rules" and punishing victim for breaking them.
- Harassment-following or stalking, embarrassing victim in public, constantly checking up on victim, or refusing to leave when asked.
- Economic control-refusing to give victim money or giving a small "allowance," not letting the victim work, interfering with the victim's work, or refusing to work.
- Abusing trust-lying, breaking promises, being unfaithful, or being overly jealous.
- Threats and Intimidation-threatening to harm the victim, family members, pets, shouting, or using physical size.
- Emotional Withholding-not expressing feelings, not taking victim's concerns seriously, or not respecting victim's feelings.
- Destruction of Property-destroying furniture, punching walls, breaking dishes, or destroying victim's personal belongings.
- Self-Destructive Behavior-abusing drugs or alcohol, driving recklessly, or threatening suicide or self-harm.
(Source: The Idaho Coalition's publication "It shouldn't hurt to go home.")