The 5 Types of Dating Abuse

Relationships can be complicated. Every couple gets into fights, but don't confuse dating abuse with normal disagreement. If you or someone you know is in an unhealthy relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE to get help. If you're not sure whether or not a relationship is abusive check out the five types below.


Physical abuse is the most obvious type. It comes in the form of hitting, punching, slapping, biting, anything that hurts physically. If you see a loved one with bruises or scars, you may want to talk to them about it.


Mental abuse happens when one dating partner constantly puts down the other. They may call names, make threats, or accuse the other person of cheating. This is harmful to the mind, and is an unhealthy relationship.

ex: “If you leave me, I’ll kill myself.”


The abusive partner may try to control the other’s behavior, personality, and life. They crush the spirit of their boyfriend or girlfriend. This is called emotional abuse.

ex: “You can’t hang out with him/her anymore.”


Sexual abuse includes unwanted touching, putting pressure on someone to have sex, or even rape. Yes, it’s still rape when you’re dating.


Financial abuse has to do with money. If your partner is using your credit card without permission, putting your paycheck in their account, or telling you what you can and cannot buy, you are being financially abused.

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