Women 16-24 years of age experience the highest rates of intimate partner violence and more than four in every 10 incidents of relationship violence involves unmarried people, according to Bureau of Justice statistics.
Relationship violence is controlling, abusive and/or aggressive behavior toward a current or past relationship partner. It occurs in both heterosexual and same-sex relationships and can include verbal, emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse. Relationship violence affects people of all ages, races, abilities and ethnic backgrounds.
Although there is no typical pattern in abusive relationships, abusers engage in behaviors that serve to intimidate, frighten and isolate their partners in order to gain control.
Emotional or psychological violence — These behaviors may include verbal harassment and abuse, jealousy, possessiveness, and isolation from family and friends. The abuser attempts to control all aspects of a victim’s life, including where they go, what activities they engage in and with whom they communicate. This abuse may appear endearing at the beginning of a relationship but can increase over time, resulting in the victim’s loss of self-esteem, personal freedom and decision-making ability.
Physical violence — These behaviors may include pushing, slapping, biting, kicking, hair pulling, punching, strangling, burning and the threat or use of weapons. Physical violence often begins by inflicting injuries on parts of the body that can be covered and not detected by others. Physical violence often escalates over time, occurring with greater frequency and by use of greater force. Abusers may also physically harm children and pets.
Sexual abuse — This form of abuse is exerted to gain power and control over the victim, often in a degrading fashion. Sexual abuse includes unwanted touching, intercourse or forcing the victim to perform sexual acts against his or her will.
If your partner engages in any of the following behaviors, you are likely in an abusive relationship:
If you are experiencing relationship violence, there are numerous on- and off-campus resources.
|Sexual violence advocate||414-288-5244|
|Sojourner Family Peace Center||414-276-1911|
|Milwaukee Women’s Center||414-449-4777|
|Milwaukee LGBT Community Center||414-271-2656|