|Western Regional Coalition to End Violence
WHAT IS DATING VIOLENCE?
Is the sexual, physical, or emotional abuse of one partner by the other
in a dating relationship where the couple is not living together. While incidents of violence against men do
occur, violence against women is more pervasive, more systematic, and usually
1 in 10 high school
students has experienced some form of dating violence.
Studies about dating
violence show that in cases involving severe abuse, the majority of abusers are
Studies of battered wives
show that many reported having been abused by their partners before they were
It’s estimated that only
1% of date rapes are reported to the police.
TYPES OF DATING VIOLENCE
Sexual Abuse may involve sexual relations without consent, unwanted
sexual touching, or being forced to engage in humiliating, degrading sexual
activity. Coercion or the threat of
coercion is often used to gain the compliance of the victim.
Physical Abuse may involve punching, kicking, slapping, pushing,
choking, biting, burning, hair pulling, physically confining, striking with an
object, or assaulting with a weapon.
Psychological/Emotional/Verbal Abuse may involve intimidating, terrorizing,
threatening, humiliating, insulting, pressuring, destroying property,
controlling the movements of one’s partner, yelling and screaming to induce
fear, isolating from friends and family, or other expressions of extreme
EARLY WARNING SIGNS
Extreme Jealousy - everyone gets jealous sometimes; the key word is
‘extreme’. Both males and females can
become extremely jealous.
Possessiveness - this becomes a dangerous sign when someone treats
you as if you are a belonging.
Controlling Attitude - this happens when one partner completely rules the
relationship and makes all of the decisions, your point of view is not
Low Self-Esteem - people with low self-esteem don’t like themselves
very much. In a dating relationship a
person with low self-esteem may become very dependent on his/her partner.
Unpredictable Mood Swings - nobody stays in the same mood all the time, but a
dramatic shift from being jealous, controlling or angry to being sweet,
charming and loving is a dangerous sign.
Alcohol and Drug Use - many of the reported violent episodes in dating
relationships are carried out when one or both partners have been drinking or
doing drugs. Alcohol and drug use lower
a person’s self-control, but are not direct causes of violence.
Explosive Anger - even if you have never seen someone being
aggressive toward another person, watch out for people who seem to get too
angry. These people may hit walls or
lockers, yell loudly, call names, or actually threaten other with violence.
Fear of Leaving - if you are in a relationship that you want to get
out of, but are afraid to leave that is a good indication that there is
HOW CAN WE HELP?
We need to educate
ourselves on the issue of dating violence.
We need to impress upon
young people that power and control have no place in a caring relationship.
We need to provide
information about all kinds of dating and acquaintance violence, including
We need to give young
people a chance to talk about their experiences and their fears.
We need to impress on
young people that sexual assault is a crime of violence whether the abuser is a
stranger, an acquaintance, a family member or a boyfriend.