Cape Cod, Massachusetts


When you hear about dating abuse – what do you think of? Many people immediately think of physical violence but dating abuse can occur in many different forms. If you’re experiencing any of the behaviors below, it may be a red flag that the relationship you’re in is abusive.  Everyone has a right to a relationship free of abuse. If you have questions about abuse that you or someone you know is experiencing, reach out to an Independence House Teens counselor.


Physical abuse is any contact that is unwanted and causes someone to feel unsafe. Examples can include:

  • Hitting, punching, biting, and/or kicking
  • Physically restraining you from doing something or going somewhere
  • Throwing something at you
  • Pushing you
  • Pulling your hair
  • Choking you


Sexual abuse includes any pressure or force to cause unwanted sexual activity. Examples can include:

  • Rape
  • Withholding birth control
  • Unwanted touching or kissing
  • Pressuring someone to have sex
  • Forced sexual acts
  • Sexual contact with consent


Emotional/verbal abuse includes behaviors that cause emotional pain without physically touching a person. Examples can include:

  • Yelling/screaming
  • Putting you down
  • Calling you names
  • Threatening you (including threatening to commit suicide)
  • Starting rumors about you
  • Humiliating you
  • Blaming you for their actions/decisions
  • Giving you the silent treatment or ignoring you


Financial abuse includes behaviors to control how money impacts you. Examples can include:

  • Telling you what you can/cannot buy
  • Preventing you from having access to your own financial accounts
  • Controlling the hours you work or where you work
  • Requiring that you share your bank account passwords/pin code
  • Opening credit accounts in your name
  • Requiring that you ask for money for necessities or withholding money for necessities


Digital abuse includes using technology to control or harass you. Examples can include:

  • Constantly texting or calling you to check up on you
  • Monitoring your activity on social media, your phone, or your computer
  • Forces you to share your passwords
  • Uses tracking devices (GPS, apps, etc.) to monitor you
  • Sends you negative or harassing texts or messages through email or social media
  • Pressures you to send inappropriate texts or messages