What Is Dating Violence?

Dating Violence is the physical, sexual, emotional, and/or verbal abuse of one partner by the other partner in a current or former dating relationship. Abusive behavior is any act carried out by one partner aimed at hurting or controlling the other. Dating violence happens in male/female relationships as well as in lesbian and gay relationships.

A violent relationship means more than being hit by the person who claims to love or care about you. Violence is about power and control. When someone uses abuse and violence against you, it is always part of a larger pattern to try and control you.
Violence is against the law!

Regardless of the abuser's age, it is against the law for anyone to:

Healthy Relationships

Learn about yourself. Take time to think about who you are, who you want to be and how you want others to see you. Learn about building trust, respect and affection for yourself and others.

Learn about others. Find out what kind of person you want to spend time with. What are the qualities you like in a person? What is most important to you in a relationship?

Include family and friends. Good and vibrant relationships welcome interactions with family members and with friends of both parties. Good relationships are inclusive, not isolating of others.
Foster respect. Respecting thoughts and ideas, needs and wants of both people make relationships safe and fun. In healthy dating, both people make decisions about the relationship together.

Support each other. In a healthy relationship, you and your partner feel good about yourselves and the relationship. You can talk with each other about problems; you have fun together; you trust each other. In good relationships, neither partner is afraid of the other. You want what is best for yourself and the other person.

Make your feelings clear. It may seem easier at times to go along with what your date wants even if you don't feel the same way. But you can't have a healthy relationship with a partner who doesn't respect or know what you really think.

Respect Meter

How do you know if you are in a hurtful relationship?

The best way to tell whether someone may be abusing you is to look at the way you are treated. Think of your relationship and ask yourself the following questions.

If you answered yes to any of these questions you are involved with a potential batterer. Even though most people think that violence in relationships happens only between married persons, the same kind of violence also happens between people who are dating regardless of their sexual orientation.

Even if you are not being hurt physically, verbal and emotional abuse are just as painful and often lead to physical violence.

Dating someone is never worth being hurt or feeling afraid.

Tips On Avoiding Bad Relationships

Communicate clearly

Avoid Dangerous situations

Be in control

Be careful

If you are in a bad relationship.

Discuss your concerns. It is never too late to make your feelings clear with your partner. If expressing your concerns leads to more abuse, get help.

Trust your gut. If you have concerns about someone you're dating or want to date, trust you feelings. If the person refuses to discuss your concerns, you should refuse to go out with them.

Believe in yourself. It's common to question whether the abuse took place, whether it was really "that bad," and whether it was your fault, but it's important to stand by your feelings. If you feel you were abused, then you were abused.

Think of your safety.
Abusive relationships tend to get worse, not better. Resist the temptation to give the person "one more chance." Realize that by the time you are asked for "one more chance" you have likely already given your partner numerous chances. Refuse to take phone calls and to return messages from the abuser.

Break the silence

Getting a Protection Order

IF YOU ARE UNDER 18 you may be able to get a protection order with the help of an adult. A protection order states that your abuser may not hurt, harass or come into contact with you for  90 to 180 days. An adult begins this process by filling out a family violence petition on your behalf in the magistrate clerk's office. In the petition, she or he must explain why you need the protection and what kind of protection you need. The petition should describe the violence that the abuser did or threatened to do. Even if you have a protective order, you must also take steps to protect yourself.

Within five days, a hearing will be scheduled. Here, you will answer questions about the abuse, the abuser will answer questions and the magistrate will decide whether to give you a protection order.

Call the police. Having a protection order does not guarantee your safety if the abuser dose not obey the protection order.

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