Dating Violence Awareness Month and How To Spot an Unhealthy Relationship

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) February is dating violence awareness month, and more than 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men will have experienced some form of intimate partner violence before they reach 17 years old.

Domestic abuse is a pattern of behaviors, including violence that an abuser uses to control their partner.

Unlike what some people may think, leaving is not a safe option for most victims.

"It's one of the most dangerous tactics a victim will take to change the situation. It's an assumption we as a society make, but it doesn't solve the problem. Supporting victims, helping get resources, helping when they're feeling like this is a confusing/difficult situation, that's what 's important and it keeps them from being isolated. Imagine what it takes to be safe from an individual who knows everything about you! What it takes to be safe, what they could do and what information do they have as leverage in control of leverage and what they have on you" said Kristie Fortmann-Doser, the Executive Director for the Domestic Violence Intervention Program.

Even though it's dating violence awareness, domestic violence can occur in any relationship, no matter the age.

According to Dating Violence Intervention Program, here are the top five red flags:
1. Excessively jealous & possessive
2. Controlling what you say, wear, & who you are friends with
3. Pressures you to do things you don't want to do
4. Monitors your phone and social media
5. Prevents you from hanging out with friends/doing activities

If you or someone you know is in an unhealthy relationship, find support: https://dvipiowa.org/