How to Prevent Dating Violence
Dating Violence is defined as the perpetration or threat of an act of violence by at least one member of an unmarried couple on the other member within the context of dating or courtship. This violence encompasses all forms: sexual assault, physical violence, verbal, mental, or emotional abuse. This describes dating abuse as a "pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors used to maintain power and control over a former or current intimate partner.“ (Wikipedia.org, 2010)
- 1 in 5 teens who have been in a serious relationship report being hit, slapped or pushed by a partner.
- 1 in 3 girls who have been in a serious relationship say they’ve been concerned about being physically hurt by their partner.
- 1 in 4 teens who have been in a serious relationship say their boyfriend or girlfriend has tried to prevent them from spending time with friends or family; the same number have been pressured to only spend time with their partner.
- 1 in 3 girls between the ages of 16 and 18 say sex is expected for people their age if they’re in a relationship; half of teen girls who have experienced sexual pressure report they are afraid the relationship would break up if they did not give in.
- Nearly 1 in 4 girls who have been in a relationship (23%) reported going further sexually than they wanted as a result of pressure.
Ending an abusive relationship
How to break up:
If you are thinking of ending your relationship, consider these safety tips:
- If you don’t feel safe, don’t break up in person. It may seem cruel to break up over the phone or by email, but these ways can provide you the distance needed to stay safe.
- If you decide to break up in person, consider doing it in a public place. Take a cell phone with you if possible.
- Don’t try to explain your reasons for ending the relationship more than once. There is nothing you can say that will make your ex happy about the break up.
- Let your friends and parents know you are ending your relationship, especially if you think your ex will come to your house or try to get you alone.
- If your ex tries to come to your house when you’re alone, don’t go to the door.
Trust yourself. If you feel afraid, you probably have a good reason.
- Ask for help. Contact your local police department, speak to a parent or trusted adult, or contact a peer advocate at the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline 1-866-331-9474.
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