Copyright 2023 Marline E. Pearson
102 LESSON 6
It’s not just a guys’ issue, as some think. And it’s not just a heterosexual issue. Violence can happen in all
types of relationships, regardless of how one identifies in terms of gender or sexual orientation.
We’re going to examine types of physical violence in relationships. Keep in mind that all types are harmful,
and all types can be very dangerous. Always keep that in focus.
(PP) This is the most common form of partner violence.5
Dating violence is most commonly (but not always) the result of getting into
arguments and not having the skills to handle strong emotions and argue safely.
Then the argument spills over into slapping, pushing, shoving, hitting, and
throwing things.
It is done by all gender identities and people of all sexual orientations.6
We’ll call these, “Arguments that get physical.”* They are unhealthy and unsafe. Never downplay them,
even if they happen infrequently and even if they’re common with people around you.
For some, arguments that get physical happen once in a lifetime for others, once in a while and others every
time they have a disagreement. They may not end up in the hospital, but such arguments take a serious toll
on emotional and physical health and harm children. And, even if it only happens once, it could be lethal.
Consider the size and strength of a person. Don’t downplay it for anyone—anyone can hurt someone
smaller—and any aggressive action could be unintentionally lethal.
The bottom line is any disrespectful or aggressive behavior needs action. It’s not a sign of a
healthy relationship.
Verbal abuse also needs to be taken seriously. A pattern of nasty name-calling, shaming, and
bullying takes a psychological toll and can destroy a person’s sense of self-worth.
It’s important to stop the behavior before it becomes a pattern or gets worse.
*Instructor Note: Research literature refers to this as situational couple violence.7
(PP) What Can Help?
Communication and conflict-management skills can help people who
have trouble handling their emotions and arguments safely.
Arguments that Get Physical
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