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Dating or domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence, is a pattern of ongoing power and control by one dating partner over another. Examples of dating or domestic violence include threatening a partner or their family, coercing them into doing something they don’t want to do, constantly belittling them, controlling what they can and cannot do, deciding who they can go out with and when, isolating them from friends and family, controlling their finances and access to resources, or physically hitting, kicking, punching, slapping, or scratching. Dating and domestic violence can also include sexual violence or stalking.
Domestic violence can happen to people of all ages, races, ethnicities, and religions. It occurs in both heterosexual and LGBTQ relationships. While it is important to remember that we all have different cultural practices, beliefs, and experiences that shape our view of what intimate relationships look like, everyone deserves to feel safe and respected.
No one deserves to be abused. Abuse is never the victim’s fault! If you have been the victim of dating or domestic violence, you are not alone. Help is available. Please see the links to the right for resources and for more information about dating and domestic violence
The Power and Control Wheel
The behaviors associated with relationship abuse all stem from one person's use of power and control over another. The Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth, Minn., developed a tool called the the power and control wheel [PDF] that illustrates these relationships. The power and control wheel has been adapted to reflect the experience of college students here at UW-Madison.