Teen Dating Violence Month
Dating Violence also known as Intimate Partner Violence, is a significant public health problem that affects millions of people. Sadly, according to the Department of Justice, Intimate Partner Violence accounts for 15% of all violent crimes. Dating violence can be physical, sexual, and psychological. Stalking is also a form of Dating Violence. Violence with your partner can occur when there is feeling of emotional connectedness to the other, have regular contact or ongoing physical contact, identify as a couple, or are familiar with each other’s lives. Dating Violence can take place in any type of relationship with spouses, boyfriend/girlfriends, dating partners, or sexual partners.
The Four Types
- Physical Violence is any form of physical force that could cause physical harm.
- Sexual Violence is separated into five different categories:
- Rape or Penetration
- Victim Penetrates Someone Else
- Non-Physically Pressured Penetration
- Unwanted Sexual Contact
- Unwanted Sexual Experiences
- Stalking is repeated and unwanted contact that causes fear for one’s own or someone else’s safety. Some examples of stalking are constantly watching or following from a distance, spying, continually approaching them, etc.
- Physiological Aggression is any form of communication being non-verbal or verbal that shows the intent to cause harm on another person mentally or emotionally. Examples can be name-calling, limiting the partner/victim to their family and friends, or make use of their vulnerability.
The Warning Signs
It is important to know the difference between a healthy, unhealthy, and abusive relationships. Common warning signs for an unhealthy or abusive relationship are:
- Checking the other’s cell phones
- Showing extreme jealousy or insecurity
- Constant belittling
- Explosive temper
- Isolation from family, friends, hobbies, etc.
- Making untrue accusations
- Continuous mood swings
- Physically inflicting pain
- Demanding what to do
- Repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex
Who is at Risk
The people who are at risk for Intimate Partner Violence or Dating Violence are people who:
- Believe that dating violence is acceptable
- Have depression, anxiety, etc.
- Substance abuse/use
- Have several sexual partners
- Have conflict with their partner
- Experience violence at home or see other relationships that are violent
In order to develop a healthy relationship, addressing the problem is the best option. The goal is to stop it before it starts, so keep an eye out for the warning signs. If signs occur, then either talk to the significant other, counselor, or physician about what is going on within your relationship. The Nation Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233. To find out more information visit their website, thehotline.org.