Dating violence is abusive behavior including physical, emotional, financial, or sexual abuse in order to gain power and control over another person in a casual or serious relationship. Any person can experience dating violence or unhealthy relationships. It affects men, women, and children of all ages, races, ethnicities, religions, disabilities, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses. Dating violence does not discriminate. Remember, abuse does not have to be physical in order to be abuse. Emotional, psychological, and financial abuse, as well as pressure and coercion are abusive. Each type of abuse is serious and no one deserves to experience abuse of any kind. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to offer support.
Signs of Dating Violence:
· Physical abuse, including hitting, slapping, biting, kicking, and pushing
· Tells you they can’t live without you
· Threatens to hurt themselves, you, or others if you break up
· Is jealous and possessive about the time you spend with friends
· Constantly messages and calls, and gets upset when you do not respond immediately
· Pressures you into sex, sexual acts, drugs, and/or alcohol when you don’t want to
· Your weight, appearance, or grades have changed dramatically because of the relationship
· Puts down your accomplishments or goals
· Blames you for how they feel
· Embarrasses or makes fun of you in front of your friends, family, or teachers
· Uses intimidation or threats to get their way
· Tells you that you are nothing without them
· Makes you feel like they are smarter and you are unable to make decisions
Power and control are present whenever there is violence. Abusive power and control are the methods through which someone gains and maintains power and control over someone else. The Power and Control Wheel shows behaviors that may occur in dating or domestic violence relationships. In all of our relationships, we can strive for positive behaviors and healthy relationships as shown in the Equality Wheel.