What Is Relationship Violence?

Relationship violence is a pattern of physically, sexually, and/or emotionally abusive behaviors, used by one individual to maintain power over or control a partner in the context of a relationship. Relationship violence means that one partner has gained more power over time through the use of controlling tactics. Often times, we hear this referred to as domestic violence or dating violence. 

Know The Signs

While it is a common myth that sexual assault cannot happen in a relationship due to "standing consent," this is false. 

Consent must be freely given for each sexual interaction regardless of the relationship status of the involved participants. 

Relationship violence is one of the most common occurrence of sexual violence. About a quarter of relationships amongst people of all genders are affected by this. 

There are a variety of reasons someone might remain in an abusive relationship. Some of these include: 
  • Fear of possible escalation if they attempt to leave
  • Feeling worried about what friends or family will think
  • Thinking that they don't have anyone to turn to (isolation)
  • Loving a partner; wanting the abuse to end but not the relationship
  • A belief that they won't find anyone else to date
  • Thinking that it is their fault.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-72363 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

7:00 AM - 2:00 AM (CST)