What is Dating Violence?
Dating violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors — usually a series of abusive behaviors over time — used to exert power and control over a dating partner. Every relationship is different, but the things that unhealthy and abusive relationships have in common are issues of power and control. Read on to learn the warning signs of teen dating violence and how survivors can get the support they need.
Tactics Violent and Abusive Dating Partners May Use
An abusive dating partner will use physical, psychological, or sexual abuse as a way to control and manipulate the other partner. Here are some examples:
- Uses threats and intimidation to gain control.
- Uses physical or sexual assaults or threats to assault their partner, family members, and pets to gain power and control over them.
- Terrorizes or threatens the victim into submission with weapons, lies, manipulation, mind games, or other forms of psychological abuse.
- Manipulates the victim's emotions by constantly telling them how much they love them one minute and then threatening to harm themselves the next.
- Constantly puts their partner down to make them feel insecure and inferior.
- Exhibits extreme jealousy or insecurity when they cannot maintain total control over their partner's actions.
Why Are Teens More Prone to Dating Violence?
There are a number of reasons why teens may be more prone to dating violence than adults. Some of these factors include:
- A lack of experience with healthy relationships: Many teens have not had the opportunity to observe or participate in healthy, consensual relationships, so they may not know what a healthy relationship looks like. Abusive behavior can seem normal to them if they don't know anything different.
- Power imbalances: Teens are often still in the process of developing their identity and sense of self-worth, which can make them feel powerless in their relationships. An abusive partner may exploit this power imbalance to control and manipulate their partner.
- Social pressure: There is often a lot of pressure on teens to be in a relationship, which can make them feel like they have to stay in one that’s unhealthy or abusive. They may also feel like they won't be able to find another partner if they leave their current one.
- Unrealistic expectations: Many teens have unrealistic expectations about relationships due to what they see in the media or from their friends. They may believe that relationships should be perfect and that any disagreements mean that the relationship is doomed. This can lead them to stay in an abusive relationship instead of seeking help or ending the relationship.
List of Organizations for Teen Dating Violence Support
Several organizations across the U.S. provide support and resources for teen survivors of dating violence. Some of these organizations include:
Love Is Respect: This national organization provides information about healthy relationships and assistance for both teens and parents who are concerned about abuse in their relationships. Their website also offers 24/7 crisis intervention services through phone, text, or chat.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: This national hotline provides confidential crisis intervention, safety planning, and support to survivors of domestic violence, including teens in abusive relationships.
Break the Cycle: This national nonprofit organization provides resources and education on healthy relationships to help end domestic violence among young adults and teens. Their website also has a directory of local organizations that provide counseling or advocacy services for victims of dating violence.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please reach out for help. These organizations can provide you with the support and resources you need to stay safe and healthy in your relationships.
Where to Turn for Help After Sexual Assault
As a survivor of sexual assault or abuse, seeking justice may be an essential step toward healing and moving past your traumatic experience. An experienced sexual assault lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and apply for victim compensation programs to get the financial support to recover from your trauma.
At , we understand the challenges survivors face and are here to help you tell your story when you are ready. We believe you, and we are here to support you and guide you through every step of the process.
We are prepared to defend your right to seek compensation. Contact us today at (833) 456-3529 to learn your rights.