Counseling Center

University of Mississippi

Relationship Violence

Relationship Violence

Relationship Violence is a pattern of behavior in an intimate relationship that is used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation.

When we talk about a “pattern of behavior… that is used to establish power and control,” we are specifically talking about the repeated use of words and/or actions and inactions in order to demean, intimidate, and/or control another person. This behavior can be VERBAL, EMOTIONAL, and/or PHYSICAL.

Verbal Violence

Verbal Violence includes any use of words or voice to control or hurt another person.

Examples of verbal violence can include:
Threats to kill
Threats to use violence
Threats to children
Accusation of “screwing around”
Calling names (i.e. whore, slut, bastard, etc.)
Leaving nasty messages on voicemail
Making insinuations
“Silent treatment”
Sneering
Making critical statements like:
“You’re dumb”
“You’re stupid”
“You’re ugly”
“You can’t do anything right”
Yelling
Insults
Being sarcastic
Growling

Emotional Violence

Emotional Violence includes any action or lack of action meant to control or demean another person.

Examples of emotional violence can include:
Being irresponsible with money
Controlling access to money
Intense jealousy
Withholding sex
Criticizing a partner’s looks
Unwanted sexual demands
Isolating another from family & friends
Making fun of partner
Keeping partner up all night
Manipulating with lies
Threatening divorce or separation
Having affairs
Constant questioning about activities
Using alcohol and/or drugs
Accusations of affairs
Not working
Keeping partner from working

Physical Violence

Physical Violence includes any use of size, strength, or presence to hurt or control someone else.

Examples of physical violence can include:
Pushing
Shoving
Biting
Grabbing
Pinching
Kicking
Pulling
Kneeing
Burning
Stabbing
Slapping
Spitting
Choking
Shooting
Spanking
Kicking car, furniture, etc.
Restraining
Forcibly carrying
Backhanding
Pinning against wall
Pushing out of car
Punching with a fist
Abuse of children
Trying to hit with car
Forced sex
Throwing things
Abuse of animals
Driving recklessly
Twisting arms
Tearing clothes
Standing or sitting on
Punching walls, doors, etc.
Hair pulling
Slamming drawers
Attack with an object
Breaking things
Use of size or presence
Chasing
Unplugging phone
Stalking
Standing behind car to prevent driving away
Taking car keys
Taking credit cards, money, checkbook
Taking children
Trapping
Clenching fists as a threat
Standing in doorway to prevent exit