What is dating abuse?
Dating abuse is a pattern of destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner. While we define dating violence as a pattern, that doesn't mean the first instance of abuse is not dating violence. It just recognizes that dating violence usually involves a series of abusive behaviors over a course of time.
There are many types of abuse including Emotional/Verbal Abuse, Stalking, Financial Abuse, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, and Digital Dating Abuse.
10 Warning Signs of Abuse:
Because relationships exist on a spectrum, it can be hard to tell when a behavior crosses the line from healthy to unhealthy or even abusive. Use these warning signs of abuse to see if your relationship is going in the wrong direction:
· Checking your cell phone or email without permission
· Constantly putting you down
· Extreme jealousy or insecurity
· Explosive temper
· Isolating you from family or friends
· Making false accusations
· Mood swings
· Physically hurting you in any way
· Telling you what to do
· Repeatedly pressuring you to have sex
Who can be the victim of dating abuse?
Any teen or young adult can experience violence, abuse or unhealthy behaviors in their dating relationships. A relationship may be serious or casual, monogamous or not, short-term or long-term. Dating abuse does not discriminate -- it does not see gender, sexual orientation, economic status, ethnicity or religious preference.
One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
How can the Teen Dating Violence program help?
Individual and small group services are provided for youth who have experienced dating abuse. Through this program we hope to provide empowerment and support to youth to partner with them in their healing process and work towards ensuring they are better able to identify healthy relationships in the future. In this program, you can expect the following:
- A safe and confidential space for sharing your experiences
- Identify strategies to increase your safety
- Learn about how dating abuse happens
- Explore the cycle of dating abuse
- Enhance self-esteem
- Identify characteristics of abusers
- Learn ways to cope with experiences with abuse
- A space to process and heal from experiences with abuse
- Discover strategies for expressing feelings in healthy ways
- Understand characteristics of healthy relationships
Contact the Women's Commission at 704-336-3210 for more information.
Our staff is also available to provide case consultation, training, and outreach to service providers.