"An information highway for victims of domestic abuse."™
What is Dating Violence?
According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, teen dating violence:
Is abusive and violent behavior in teen dating relationships
Reflects the perpetrator’s desire to control and dominate the victim
Covers a wide range of behavior that includes verbal and emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
Teen dating violence has the same look, feel and sometimes the same consequences that adult domestic violence has: emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, all exist in teen dating violence. Dating violence is the new growing statistic in the areas of relationship violence. Teens in abusive relationships often carry unhealthy patterns of violence into future relationships.
Teenagers can choose better relationships when they learn to identify the early warning signs of an abusive relationship, understand that they have choices, and believe they are valuable people who deserve to be treated with respect. Victims of dating violence are not only at increased risk for injury they are also more likely to:
Engage in binge drinking, suicide attempts, physical fights, and sexual activity
Believe abuse is "normal" because their friends are also being abused
Believe there is no one to ask for help
We believe that education is the key to ending domestic violence and dating violence in this country. To teach women and young people what a healthy relationship looks like regardless of what they might see at home.
Through our programs we will be able to impact the lives of thousands of women and young people throughout the United States. Our vision is for women and young people across the nation to choose to avoid unhealthy relationships, and youth violence after participating in this program. Our goal is to equip and empower young men and women and their families. We cannot accomplish this goal without the help of many like-minded organizations.
Does your boyfriend/girlfriend:
Have a history of bad relationships or past violence; always blames his/her problems on other people; or blames you for “making” him/her treat you badly?
Try to use drugs or alcohol to coerce you or get you alone when you don’t want to be?
Try to control you by being bossy, not taking your opinion seriously or making all of the decisions about who you see, what you wear, what you do, etc.?
Talk negatively about people in sexual ways or talk about sex like it’s a game or contest?
Feel less confident about yourself when you’re with him/her?
Feel scared or worried about doing or saying “the wrong thing?”
Find yourself changing your behavior out of fear or to avoid a fight?
Dating violence is a pattern of controlling behaviors that one partner uses to get power over the other, and it includes:
Any kind of physical violence or threat of physical violence to get control
Emotional or mental abuse, such as playing mind games, making you feel crazy, or constantly putting you down or criticizing you
Sexual abuse, including making you do anything you don’t want to, refusing to have safe sex or making you feel badly about yourself sexually.
Dating violence is more than just arguing or fighting. Teens who abuse their girlfriends or boyfriends do the same things that adults who abuse their partners do. Teen dating violence is just as serious as adult domestic violence.
Teens are seriously at risk for dating violence. Research shows that physical or sexual abuse is a part of 1 in 3 high school relationships.
In 95% of abusive relationships, men abuse women. However, young women can be violent, and young men can also be victims. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gendered teens are just as at risk for abuse in their relationships as anyone else.
Abusive relationships have good times and bad times. Part of what makes dating violence so confusing and painful is that there is love mixed with the abuse. This can make it hard to tell if you are really being abused.
Unfortunately, without help, the violence will only get worse. If you think you may be in an abusive relationship, please call the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline to talk with someone about it. You can also call the Helpline for more information about dating violence or other resources for teens.
The information contained on this website is for information and educational purposes only and do not constitute legal or medical advice. We are not doctors, lawyers or law enforcement. Please do not use the information you read here as a replacement for either. Do not rely solely on what you read here to determine how you will leave your abuser. Contact a shelter, police, or victims’ service organization for help with safety planning and more information on how to leave an abusive relationship.
Copyright 2009-2018 Ina Mae Greene Foundation "For My Sisters" All rights reserved. A 501c3 Foundation.