Dating & Domestic Violence

Dating violence refers to any act of violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim and where the existence of such a relationship is determined based on a consideration of the length, type, and frequency of interactions between the persons involved in the relationship.


Domestic violence refers to a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by:

  • a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
  • a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
  • a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
  • a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction; or
  • any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.


Violence means, in the context of Dating Violence and Domestic Violence, the use of, or threatened use of,  physical force with intent, effect, or reasonable likelihood of causing pain, harm, injury or damage to any person or property.


Talk to Someone About Dating & Domestic Violence

If you’re experiencing signs of dating or domestic violence, please talk to someone to learn how you can get help.

Talk to Someone

Who It Affects

Dating or Domestic Violence can happen in:

  • marriages

  • long term committed partnerships

  • cohabitation

  • casual dating relationships

  • social relationships where there is sexual or intimate contact

  • relationships that have ended

The way you describe your relationship doesn’t matter-- you deserve to be safe and happy in your relationship.  

Dating or Domestic violence happens to people of all genders, sexual orientations, ages, races and ethnicities, cultural and religious backgrounds, economic situations, geographical setting, and other social identities.

The details and mechanisms might be different, but the essence is still the same: abusers seek to control their intimate partners through fear and intimidation.

Forms of Violence

Dating or domestic violence can take many forms and every situation is different. Here are some forms dating and domestic violence may take: