Relationship violence, also called domestic violence, dating violence, or intimate partner violence, is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. It can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats that influence another person. This includes behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. It knows no boundaries in regards to race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or socio-economic status.
The American College Health Association surveyed over 90,000 college students in the spring of 2009. The survey found:
Relationship violence can take many forms including:
Physical -- Inflicting or attempting to inflict physical pain
Emotional--Intended to undermine a person’s self image and sense of self worth.
Sexual--Any exploitive or coercive, non-consensual sexual contact
Economic--Attempts to make a person completely dependent on the abuser for money and economic survival.
Spiritual--Using a person’s faith against them.
Social--Isolating the person from family and/or friends
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