Everyone deserves a relationship based on equal love and respect. We have the right to say no to things that make us uncomfortable. We have the right to spend time alone or with other friends. We have the right to choose whether or not we want to stay in a relationship. Dating violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors that are used to control a person in a relationship. Abusive relationships happen when one person doesn't respect the rights and wished of the other person in that relationship.
What Is Abuse?
Emotional abuse/verbal abuse: putting someone down, making him/her feel crazy, criticizing, name calling
Physical abuse: any physical contact, including: shoving, slapping, biting, hitting
Jealousy and isolation: accusing girlfriend or boyfriend of cheating, controlling who you spend time with
Sexual abuse/sexual assault: unwanted or uncomfortable touching, using someone for sex, forcing sex or pressuring someone to do something s/he does not want to do
Threats/intimidation: using looks or actions to scare someone, smashing or throwing objects, threatening to leave someone in a dangerous place, spreading rumors, etc
Destruction of personal property: tearing up pictures, destroying sentimental objects, hurting pets
What To Do If You're Being Abused
In an emergency, get to a safe place and call 911
Talk to someone you trust; parents, friends, teacher, counselor
If you think you have been raped or sexually assaulted, call your local sexual assault crisis center of the Statewide Hotline, at 1-800-838-8238.
You may choose to call the police and/or get medical attention.
Seek help from trusted adults to make your own safety plan. Safety plans can be helpful in any dating situation.
Recognize that you are someone who has a right to care and respect. Abuse is never okay, and it is never the victim's fault.
What To Do If You Are Abusing Someone
Seek help- abusive behaviors are learned, they can also be unlearned.
Admitting that there is a problem is the first step to getting help.
Talk to someone you trust.
You are responsible for your actions- don't blame your behavior on drugs and alcohol.
You can seek help from your local program or the Statewide Hotline at 1-800-838-8238.
What To Do If A Friend Is Being Abused
Let them know you care.
Listen and believe them.
Share this web page.
Encourage them to get help.
Don't judge or criticize them.
Tell them they are not to blame.
Remind them that the situation will not get better by itself.
Use language that does not make them feel bad. Tell of a personal experience that is similar so they don't feel they are the only one.
A safety plan is a written plan of what to do to help keep a person as safe as possible. You can memorize your plan.
Go to places where you feel comfortable and safe.
Let someone know where you are and who you are with.
Always carry a phone number of someone you can call if you feel uncomfortable or are being hurt.
Know other ways to get home, for example: a car, a friend, or even a cab! Know where you can find help.
Call 911 in an emergency, your local domestic violence program, or the Statewide Hotline at 1-800-838-8238.
Let family, friends, and neighbors know a code word, so that you can ask for help without alerting the abusive person.
If you've left an abusive relationship, there are additional steps you can take to jeep yourself safe:
Vary your schedule
Take a different way to class, or walk home at a different time
Walk home with friends
Avoid eye contact with your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. Don't hesitate to call police or ask for help
Talk to your parents about blocking the abuser's phone calls