1 in 3 teenagers has experienced dating violence. This can include physical or emotional abuse. Physical dating violence includes hitting, punching, pinching, shoving or kicking a romantic partner. Examples of emotional abuse include name-calling or keeping a partner away from friends and family. Sexual dating violence is forcing a partner to participate in a sexual act that is not consensual.
If you are involved in an abusive relationship, you need to know that no one deserves to be abused or threatened. You cannot change the abuser and the violence will get worse over time. Please don’t let the violence continue. Put yourself first- talk to a trusted adult or call the SAFELine. We will help you make a change and remain safe.
If you’ve felt threatened, scared, or forced to do something in your relationship, you could be a victim of dating violence. A healthy relationship should make you happy, secure, and free to be yourself. If you don’t feel this way, it’s probably time to think about why you are with your significant other.
Early warning signs that your date may eventually become abusive:
- Before leaving on a date, know the exact plans for the evening and make sure a parent or friend knows these plans. This includes the time to expect you home or a time to call and check in.
- Try double-dating the first few times you go out with a new person.
- Understand that alcohol and drugs affect your ability to react to a situation.
- Always tell someone if you are leaving a party with someone you don’t know very well. Ask someone to check with you later to make sure you are home safe.
- Always trust your instincts and assert your feelings. If you are uncomfortable find a way to leave the situation.
I have the right:
- To be treated with respect always
- To my own body, thoughts, opinions, and property
- To choose and keep my friends
- To change my mind – at any time
- To not be abused – physically, emotionally or sexually
- To leave a relationship
- To say no
- To be treated as an equal
- To disagree
- To live without fear and confusion from my boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s anger
I have the responsibility:
- To not threaten to harm myself or another
- To encourage my girlfriend or boyfriend to pursue their dreams
- To support my girlfriend or boyfriend emotionally
- To communicate, not manipulate
- To not humiliate or demean my girlfriend or boyfriend
- To refuse to abuse – physically, emotionally or sexually
- To take care of myself
- To allow my boyfriend or girlfriend to maintain their individuality
- To respect myself and my girlfriend or boyfriend
- To be honest with each other