Valentine’s Day

Holding Hands on Beach

Valentine’s Day marks a day for couples and sweethearts to celebrate their love and treasure their time together. As Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, I thought it important to discuss the characteristics of healthy relationships.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), intimate partner violence results in an estimated 1,200 deaths and 2 million injuries among women and nearly 600,000 injuries among men annually. Twenty-three percent of women and eleven percent of men aged 18 years or more have a lifetime history of intimate partner violence victimization. Prevention is key in domestic violence. With that understanding, this post discusses the characteristics of healthy relationship.

Characteristics of Healthy Romantic Relationships:

– Partnership: There is shared responsibility.

– Economic Equality: Freedom exists related to issues of work, school, and money.

– Emotional Honesty: Both parties feel safe to share fears and insecurities.

– Sexual Respect: Accepts that “no” means “no”.

– Physical Safety: Respects partner’s space and discusses issues without violence.

– Supportive/Trusting: Listens and understands, values partner’s opinion, and sensitive to other’s needs.

Characteristics of Abusive Relationships:

– Domination: Abuser decides. Servant-Master relationship.

– Economic Control: Withholds money.

– Emotional Manipulation: Uses jealousy, passion, and stress to justify actions.

– Sexual Abuse: Treats partners as sex object.

– Physical Abuse: Hit, choke, kick, punch, pull hair, twist arms, trip, bite.

– Controlling: Isolates partner from friends.

– Intimidating: Charming in public but menacing in private.

The abusive behaviors listed above are not comprehensive. The information should simply serve as a brief overview and to encourage the reader to seek more information. For further information on the topic of domestic violence, there are many websites that can provide comprehensive information on this topic including but not limited to:; and

Source(s): Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Sanctuary for Families. National Domestic Violence Hotline. Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art

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