Dating assault

Controlling behavior may include: Not letting you hang out with your friends Calling or paging you frequently to find out where you are, whom you're with, and what you're doing Telling you what to wear Having to be with you all the time Verbal and emotional abuse may include: Calling you names Jealousy Belittling you cutting you down Threatening to hurt you, someone in your family, or himself or herself if you don't do what he or she wants. Physical abuse may include: Unwanted touching and kissing Forcing you to have sex Not letting you use birth control Forcing you to do other sexual things Anyone can be a victim of dating violence.

Feel angry, sad, lonely, depressed, or confused. Feel helpless to stop the abuse.

What is Domestic Violence?

Feel threatened or humiliated. Not know what might happen next. Feel like you can't talk to family and friends. Be afraid of getting hurt more seriously. Feel protective of your boyfriend or girlfriend. Get Help Being a victim of dating violence is not your fault. If you think you are in an abusive relationship, get help immediately. Don't keep your concerns to yourself.

Talk to someone you trust like a parent, teacher, school principal, counselor, or nurse. If you choose to tell, you should know that some adults are mandated reporters.

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Teen Dating Abuse

This means they are legally required to report neglect or abuse to someone else, such as the police or child protective services. You can ask people if they are mandated reporters and then decide what you want to do. Some examples of mandated reporters are teachers, counselors, doctors, social workers, and in some cases, coaches or activity leaders. If you want help deciding whom to talk to, call a crisis line in your area. Help Yourself Think about ways you can be safer. This means thinking about what to do, where to go for help, and who to call ahead of time. Where can you go for help?

Who can you call? Who will help you? How will you escape a violent situation? Here are other precautions you can take: Let friends or family know when you are afraid or need help. When you go out, say where you are going and when you'll be back. In an emergency, call or your local police department. Memorize important phone numbers, such as the people to contact or places to go in an emergency. Keep spare change, calling cards, or a cell phone handy for immediate access to communication.

Go out in a group or with other couples. Breaking Objects An abuser may break things, beat on tables or walls or throw objects around or near the victim. This behavior terrorizes the victim and can send the message that physical abuse is the next step. Any Force During an Argument An abuser may use force during arguments, including holding the victim down, physically restraining the victim from leaving the room, and pushing and shoving.

Dating/Domestic Violence (EverSafe Project)

For example, an abuser may hold a victim against the wall and say, "You're going to listen to me. Jealousy An abuser will say that jealousy is a sign of love. In reality, jealousy has nothing to do with love. It is a sign of insecurity and possessiveness. An abuser may question the victim about who they talk to or be jealous of time spent with other people. As the jealousy progresses, the abuser will call the victim frequently, stop by unexpectedly or monitor the victim's activities. Controlling Behavior An abuser will claim that controlling behavior is out of concern for the victim's welfare.

What Are the Different Types of Dating Abuse?

They will be angry if the victim is late and will frequently interrogate the victim. As this behavior gets worse, the abuser will control the victim's appearance and activities. Quick Involvement An abuser will often pressure someone to make a commitment after a very short amount of time. The abuser comes on quickly, claiming "love at first sight," and will tell the victim flattering things such as "You're the only person I could ever love.

Unrealistic Expectations The abuser is dependent on the victim for everything and expects perfection.

Teen Dating Violence

The victim is expected to take care of everything for the abuser, particularly all emotional support. The abuser will say things like, "You're the only person I need in my life. Isolation The abuser will attempt to diminish and destroy the victim's support system by distancing them from family and friends. Blames Others for Problems Abusers will rarely admit to the part they play in causing a problem. Blames Others for Their Feelings An abuser will tell the victim, "I hurt you because you made me mad, " or "You're hurting me when you don't do what I ask.

Hypersensitivity An abuser can be easily insulted. The slightest setbacks are seen as personal attacks. An abuser will rage about the everyday difficulties of life as if they are injustices -- such as getting a traffic ticket or not doing well on an exam. Pets can be used to control the victim or to emotionally abuse them. They may want to act out sexual fantasies in which the victim is helpless. An abuser may show little concern about whether the victim wants to have sex and use sulking or anger to manipulate the victim into compliance. They may demand sex or start having sex with the victim when they are sleeping or very intoxicated.

Jekyll-and-Hyde Personality Explosiveness and mood swings are typical of abusers, and these behaviors are related to other traits such as hypersensitivity. This is not always a sign of mental health problems but may be a way of controlling the victim by being unpredictable.

Adapted from Wilson, K. When Violence Begins at Home: Hunter House Publishers, If you decide to leave the relationship, develop a safety plan. Stop using abuse of any form physical, sexual, economic or emotional , including threats and intimidation. Accept responsibility for your behavior. Remember that the use of violence is a choice and you can choose to change that behavior. Alcohol, drug use or mental health problems may make abusive situations worse but they are not excuses for abusive behavior.

In many cases, the first step to safety is the knowledge that the victim is not alone. It may help your friend to know that many people experience abuse and that there are resources to get help. Be supportive and respectful. Make clear statements about your friend's value and rights as a person, such as "No one deserves to be abused. Don't criticize the abuser. A victim often has conflicting feelings about the abusive partner. If you're critical of the abuser, the victim may become defensive or may shut down.

Instead, you can talk about behaviors that are negative by saying something like, "I'm really concerned about how your partner treats you. Nobody has the right to put someone else down.


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Encourage your friend to make a safety plan if they have decided to leave the relationship. Your part in a safety plan can include walking home together, checking in at certain times of the day, and having a code word your friend can use if they need immediate help. Do not slip a hotline card or any other information about abuse into someone's bag or under a door. This can also escalate the violence against the victim. Do not send a voicemail message or an email message about the abuse to your friend.

You do not know if the abuser is monitoring the phone or the computer. Be careful for yourself. Let your friend know what you are comfortable doing and what your boundaries are. You can also get support for yourself from the resources below. Counseling and Psychological Services Located at J Walter Wilson, Room The on-call counselor is also available to accompany a victim to the hospital.

Dating Violence

Call to make an appointment. Located in J Walter Wilson, Room Brown Department of Public Safety You may also direct any complaints to Public Safety's administrative number, Counselor-advocates provide confidential support and are available to accompany victims of sexual assault to the hospital and police station. Ongoing counseling and support groups are available. This hotline is specific to Rhode Island. The hotline advocates can answer calls in English and Spanish and have access to translators in languages. The Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project This grassroots, nonprofit organization provides community education and direct services for clients.


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