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Relationship Violence Definitions

Understanding the key terms and definitions related to relationship violence is crucial in raising awareness and promoting a safer society.



Coercive Control:

a pattern of behaviors a perpetrator uses to gain control and power by eroding a person's autonomy and self-esteem. This can include acts of intimidation, threats, and humiliation.


Abuse:

any action that intentionally harms or injures another person.


Gaslighting:

a manipulative abuse tactic where a survivor begins to question their own reality. This is done by the abuser questioning facts, denying memories the survivor has, undermining their judgment and bullying them into believing the abuser’s reality.


Violence:

an act of physical force that causes or is intended to cause harm. The damage inflicted by violence may be physical, psychological, or both.


Victim Blaming:

someone saying, implying, or treating a person who has experienced harmful or abusive behavior like it was a result of something they did or said, instead of placing the responsibility where it belongs: on the person who harmed them.


Boundaries:

Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits.


Rape Culture:

an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.


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