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Sexual Assault & Anti-Violence Information

Manipulation & Control

Some relationships are healthy, safe, and exciting. Healthy relationships are a deep source of happiness and satisfaction.

Healthy Relationships are when both people (whether friends, family, or romantic partners) respect one another, are concerned about the other's well-being, resolve problems through compromise and negotiation, feel a sense of safety (physical, emotional, sexual safety, etc.) and feel free to be their true selves.

Other relationships may be confusing and emotionally or physically destructive; leaving a person feeling trapped, alone, and scared. These relationships are hurtful.

Abuse is an intentional effort to control or hurt another person through physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, spiritual, and/or financial means. It is when one person in the relationship uses one or more manipulative behaviors to have power and control over the other person. These behaviors may not be visible immediately and may gradually become more severe over time.

Dating Violence is a term used to describe abuse in a dating relationship.

Domestic Violence is a term used to describe abuse in a married or cohabitating relationship. Cohabitants are people living in the same house - whether they are married, romantic partners, or just roommates.

Manipulation and Control might look like:

  • Threatening to commit suicide to keep you from breaking up with them
  • Making you feel guilty or immature when you don’t consent to sexual activity
  • Threatening to expose your secrets such as your sexual orientation or immigration status
  • Blaming your actions for their abusive or unhealthy behavior
  • Intentionally embarrassing you in public
  • Calling you names and putting you down

*Find a more complete list from the National Dating Abuse Helpline @ loveisrespect.org

More questions? Email saaviinfo@aggiemail.usu.edu or call 435.797.1510