Is This Abuse?

Dating abuse is a pattern of destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner. While we define dating violence as a pattern, that 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.

Warning Signs of Abuse

Because relationships exist on a spectrum, it can be hard to tell when a behavior crosses the line from healthy to unhealthy or even abusive. Use these warning signs of abuse to see if your relationship is going in the wrong direction:

  • Checking your cell phone or email without permission
  • Constantly putting you down
  • Extreme jealousy or insecurity
  • Explosive temper
  • Isolating you from family or friends
  • Making false accusations
  • Mood swings
  • Physically hurting you in any way
  • Possessiveness
  • Telling you what to do
  • Pressuring or forcing you to have sex

Learn more about how unhealthy relationships work by exploring our power and control wheel.

An Example

Sometimes the best way to learn a concept is to look at an example. So check out our comic book to learn more about what abusive relationships look like. Just don't forget that "He Loves Me... He Love Me Not" is just an example. Every relationship is different and abuse can look different, too.

Is the reader not working for you? Do you want to print the comic book? Download the PDF version here.