Psychological effects of dating violence
Dating violence crosses all racial, age, economic and social lines.
The Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness describes dating abuse as a "pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors used to maintain power and control over a former or current intimate partner." Individuals of all walks of life can find themselves in an abusive relationship.
However, the issue has enormous implications not only for individual victims, but also for children who witness the violence happening, yet have little power to stop it.
Children who grow up in a household characterized by cruelty and immorality come to believe domestic violence is normal.
It is frequently the case that two or more types of abuse are present in the same relationship.
Emotional abuse often precedes, occurs with, and/or follows physical or sexual abuse in relationships (Koss et al., 1994; Stets, 1991; Tolman, 1992; Walker, 1984).
Children may also grieve over losing the lifestyle and positive image of the abuser they had before the violence began.
Not knowing how one feels or having two opposite emotions at the same time is very difficult for children.
Regardless of whether children are physically abused or not, the emotional effects of witnessing domestic violence are very similar to the psychological trauma associated with being a victim of child abuse.The Centre for Promoting Alternatives to Violence describes abusers as being obsessively jealous and possessive, overly confident, having mood swings or a history of violence or temper, seeking to isolate their partner from family, friends and colleagues, and having a tendency to blame external stressors.