Dating Violence

Signs You Could Be Dating an Abuser

  • Is jealous and possessive, will not let you have friends, checks up on you, and will not accept breaking up
  • Tries to control you by being very bossy, giving orders, making all the decisions, not taking your opinions seriously
  • Puts you down in front of friends, tells you that you would be nothing without him or her
  • Scares you. Makes you worry about reactions to things you say or do. Threatens you. Uses or owns weapons
  • Is violent. Has a history of fighting, loses temper quickly, and brags about mistreating others. Grabs, pushes, shoves, or hits you
  • Pressures you for sex or is forceful or scary about sex. Gets too serious about the relationship too fast
  • Abuses alcohol or other drugs and pressures you to participate
  • Has a history of failed relationships and blames the other person for all the problems
  • Makes you, your family, and friends uneasy and concerned for your safety

If You Want out of an Abusive Relationship

  • Tell a family member, a friend, a counselor, a clergyman, or someone else you trust. The more isolated you are from friends and family, the more control the abuser has over you
  • Keep a daily log of the abuse
  • Do not meet your partner alone. Do not let him or her in your home or car when you are alone
  • Avoid being alone at school, work, on the way to and from places
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back
  • Plan and rehearse what you would do if your partner became abusive
  • If you are a student, alert the school counselor or security officer

How to Be a Friend to a Victim of Dating Violence

  • If you notice a friend is in an abusive relationship, do not ignore signs of abuse. Talk to your friend
  • Express your concerns. Tell your friend you're worried. Support, do not judge
  • Point out your friend's strengths; many people in abusive relationships are no longer capable of seeing their own abilities and gifts
  • Offer to go with your friend for help
    • If you are a teen, encourage your friend to confide in a trusted adult. Talk to a trusted adult if you believe the situation is getting worse
  • Never put yourself in a dangerous situation with the victim's partner. Do not be a mediator
  • Call the police (911) if you witness an assault occurring
  • If you are a teen: Tell an adult, a school principal, parent, guidance counselor