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Dating Violence

One in three teenagers has experienced dating violence. If you’ve felt threatened, scared, or forced to do something in your relationship, you could be a victim of dating violence.

Dating violence can include physical or emotional abuse:

  • Physical dating violence includes hitting, punching, pinching, shoving, or kicking a romantic partner.
  • Examples of emotional abuse include name-calling or keeping a partner away from friends and family.
  • Sexual dating violence is forcing a partner to participate in a sexual act that is not consensual.
If you are involved in an abusive relationship:
  • Know that no one deserves to be abused or threatened.
  • Understand that you cannot change the abuser and the violence will likely get worse over time.
  • Talk to a trusted adult or call SAFELine at 814-456-7233. We will help you make a change and remain safe.

Early warning signs that your date may eventually become abusive:

  • Extreme jealousy
  • Controlling behavior
  • Unpredictable mood swings
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Explosive anger
  • He or she isolates you from friends and family
  • Use of force during an argument
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Belief in rigid sex roles
  • Blames others for problems or feelings
  • Cruelty to animals or children
  • Verbal abuse, including insults or name-calling
  • He or she has abused former partners

Dating Safety: Rights and Responsibilities

Everyone has the right:

  • To be treated with respect always
  • To own their bodies, thoughts, opinions, and property
  • To choose and keep friends
  • To change their minds at any time
  • To not be abused — physically, emotionally, or sexually
  • To leave a relationship
  • To say no
  • To be treated as an equal
  • To disagree
  • To live without fear and confusion from a partner's anger

Everyone has the responsibility:

  • To not threaten to harm themselves or others
  • To encourage partners to pursue their dreams
  • To support partners emotionally
  • To communicate, not manipulate
  • To not humiliate or demean partners
  • To refuse to abuse — physically, emotionally, or sexually
  • To take care of themselves
  • To allow partners to maintain their individuality
  • To respect themselves and their partners
  • To be honest with each other

A healthy relationship should make you feel happy, secure, and free to be yourself. If you don’t feel this way, it’s probably time to think about why you are with your significant other.