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Dating violence is a significant and widespread social problem.
It is expressed in a range of harmful behaviours — from threats, to emotional maltreatment, to physical and sexual aggression.
It includes a range of assaults, from pushing, shoving and grabbing to choking, burning and assaulting with a weapon.
Each of these acts could result in charges under the Criminal Code.
Mutual Violent Control identifies violent exchanges in which both partners are violent and controlling.
All three forms of abuse — physical, sexual and emotional — can coexist, or the abuse can be characterized by any one of the three.
In contrast, severe violence includes acts for which the risk of permanent or serious injury is high.
According to a Canadian study, severe violence is relatively rare.
It includes behaviour such as hitting a partner with a hard object or assault with weapons.
While the distinction between severe and moderate violence is common in the research literature, it is important to remember that the injuries resulting from physical violence depend on many factors, including the vulnerability of the victim (e.g., disability or a prior history of abuse), the victim’s resilience, and the social support that he or she receives, including personal and wider social supports.