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Relationship, Dating or Intimate Partner Violence


Dating violence is a type of intimate partner violence, also called domestic violence. This form of violence occurs when two people know each other and have been involved in a relationship. The term “intimate partner violence” describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy.


According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 2013

  • On average, 20 people per minute are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in the US
  • Over the course of a year, 10 million women and men are victims of intimate partner violence
  • Nearly 2 million women are raped in a year and over 7 million women and men are victims of stalking annually

Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship

  • Gets angry when you hang out with other friends or people of the opposite sex.
  • Bosses you around.
  • Often gets in fights with other people or losses his or her temper.
  • Pressures you to have sex or do something sexual that you do not want to do.
  • Swears at you, calls you names, or uses mean language.
  • Uses drugs and alcohol, tries to pressure you into doing the same thing.
  • Blames you for his or her problems, or tells you that it is your fault that he or she hurt you.
  • Insults you or tries to embarrass you in front of other people.
  • Makes you feel scared of their reaction to things.
  • Always wants to know where you are going and who you are with.
  • Threatens your immigration status or keeps you from learning English.
  • Ignores or dismisses your ideas or things you want to do.
  • Accusing you of flirting or getting romantically involved with someone else.
  • Keep you from having money of your own or from using the car.
  • Criticizes your sexual performance or uses sex as a way to punish you.
  • Leaves you stranded in a dangerous place.
  • Refuses to help you out or keeps you from the doctor.

Warning Signs that Someone May be Abusive

  • Jealousy
  • Controlling Behavior
  • Quick involvement in the relationship
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Isolates the Partner
  • Blames others for problems
  • Hypersensitive
  • Cruelty towards animals/children
  • "Playful" use of force during sex
  • Verbal abuse
  • Belief in rigid sex roles
  • Extreme moods
  • Intimidation
  • Abusive in past relationships
  • Threatens violence
  • Breaks or destroys objects
  • Uses force during an argument
  • Has trouble controlling anger/temper
  • Depression
  • Dependency and attachment problems
  • Sense of entitlement
  • Low self-esteem

What you Can Do

  • Recognize that you do not deserve abuse and it is not your fault.
  • Acknowledge that you deserve respect and care within a relationship.
  • Understand that there are resources available; you are not alone.  Seek supportive counseling.
  • Develop a safety plan, for instance, have money and car keys hidden; seek a safe place.
  • Report the violence to family, friends, and law enforcement agencies.  

Community and National Resources

In an emergency, call the police at 911

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Houston Area Women's Center (713) 528-2121
Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse
Teen and Young Adult Dating Abuse Helpline
Texas Council of Family Violence
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

University of Houston Campus Resources

UH Department of Public Safety Emergency: 911
Information: (713) 743-0600 or (713) 743-333
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) (713) 743-5454
Women and Gender Resource Center (832) 842-6191
UH Health Center (713) 743-5151
UH Wellness Department (713) 743-5430