Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that can include physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse or financial abuse (using money and financial tools to exert control).
It is important to remember that the abuse is not the victim’s fault and there is help for those who are affected by domestic violence.
Most dating relationships are healthy, but abuse and violence can happen between people from all walks of life, including people with disabilities, sexual minorities, Aboriginal and ethno-cultural people, and expecting couples.
Young people can be particularly vulnerable to dating violence, since they don’t have as much experience to draw on when making decisions in dating relationships.
And the lines are often blurry and confusing, especially in a dating relationship.
Sexual violence is not about lust, uncontrollable desire or having had a few too many drinks.
And it’s a result of a society that promotes inequalities including gender inequality between men and women, which leads to the abuse and oppression of women and children. And just because you paid for dinner, you’re in a relationship, or you had sex last week doesn’t mean that you can assume anything.While there are certainly instances of sexual assault being perpetrated by strangers, the vast majority of sexual violence happens at the hands of someone the victim knows and often loves.It could be a friend, partner or someone you work with.In the emerging area of teen dating violence research, it is important that the definitions and concepts that researchers and practitioners use to define teen dating violence also resonate with young people.Concept mapping can help researchers understand how much overlap exists between how adults and young people think of different facets of teen dating relationships, including dating abuse, by producing visual representations of how each group organizes its ideas and opinions on the subject. NIJ, along with its partners in the Federal Interagency Workgroup on Teen Dating Violence, funded the development of concept maps on adolescent relationship abuse.Information and support is available for victims of abuse, their friends and family.