Signs of Dating Violence

Dating abuse is a pattern of abusive behaviors used by one person in a dating relationship to exert power and control over a dating partner. The power and control wheel below shows many of the tactics that may be used by an abusive partner to try to control the other person.


Warning Signs of Dating Violence


For the person being abused:

  • Intense jealousy or possessiveness from their dating partner
  • Change in mood or character (depression, moodiness, tendency to be argumentative)
  • Often checks in with partner
  • Unexplained marks on the body (bruises, scratches, burns)
  • Deferring to the partner's every wish
  • Often apologizing for the partner's behavior
  • Poorer academic performance
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Gets visibly upset after phone calls or dates with dating partner
  • Is afraid of making partner angry
  • Describes being "punished" by an angry partner (through silence, humiliation, or force)

For the perpetrator:

  • Gets violent when angry
  • Talks disrespectfully about dating partner, puts down dating partner
  • Brags about having total control over partner
  • Dates other people but doesn't allow partner to do so
  • Gets angry after phone calls or dates with partner
  • Is obsessed with partner's actions
  • Tries to exert control over family members
  • Discusses violent behavior as normal
  • Gets in fights with others, including those of the same sex
  • Has criminal record of abuse
  • Acts out violence toward pets or inanimate objects (for example, kicks dog or punches walls)
  • Talks about getting even with others
  • Blames problems on others or outside circumstances
  • Believes jealousy is a sign of love