If you or someone you care about is in an abusive relationship, call the National Dating Abuse Hotline at 1-866-331-9474.
Go to: Get Help...Right Now
Dating violence can manifest in different forms:
Verbal/Emotional. Non-physical damaging behaviors like insults, threats, screaming, constant monitoring, or isolation.
Physical. Any intentional use of physical touch to cause fear, injury, or assert control such as hitting, shoving, and strangling.
Sexual. Sexual activity that occurs without willing, active, unimpaired consent such as unwanted sexual touching, sexual assault, rape, or tampering with contraceptives.
Stalking. Being repeatedly watched, followed, monitored, or harassed. Can occur online or in-person, and include giving unwanted gifts.
Digital. Using technology to bully, stalk, threaten, or intimidate a partner using texting, social media, apps, tracking, etc.
Financial. Exerting power and control over a partner through their finances such as taking or hiding money or preventing a partner from earning money.
“Teen dating violence can occur in person, on the phone, via text messaging, email, and online social networks.” (Centers for Disease Control)
It’s not good: Several studies show a strong connection between dating violence experienced during adolescence leading to behavioral and health problems as young adults for both boys and girls with girls being more likely to suffer long-term negative effects including experiencing victimization in adult relationships (Mulford; Exner-Cortens).
For example, “approximately 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men who were victims of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by a partner, first experienced some kind of dating violence between the ages of 11 and 17 years.” (National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence survey, 2010 Summary Report; CDC).
Girls that are victims of teen dating violence can exhibit increased antisocial behavior, depression, binge alcohol drinking habits, cigarette smoking, marijuana use, and suicide attempts.
Boys that experience violence in a dating relationship can develop increased antisocial behavior, depression, smoking, thoughts of suicide, and drinking more alcohol. (Mulford; Exner-Cortens)
Teens that experience abuse in their adolescent relationships as either victim or victimizer (or both), show emotional and temperamental instability for life with long-term physical ill-health and disturbed mental state.
Go to: More Statistics & Studies
The following diagram, also known as the Violence Continuum, shows the pattern of unhealthy relationships. Although it’s normal for people in a healthy relationship to disagree, how those disagreements are resolved is a huge difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. Note that the longer an unhealthy relationship continues, the darker and more frequent the explosions or “storms” in an unhealthy/abusive relationship become.
These Are The 10 Most Common Warning Signs Of An Abusive Relationship according to JenniferAnn.org:
Threatens others regularly.
Serious drug or alcohol use.
History of violent behavior.
Blames you for his/her anger.
History of discipline problems.
Insults you or calls you names.
Trouble controlling feelings like anger.
Tells you what to wear, what to do or how to act.
Threatens or intimidates you in order to get their way.
Prevents you from spending time with friends or family.
The simple explanation is, “If it’s not yes, it’s no.”
Consent is about taking an active, fully aware role in the decision-making process and giving a clear, definitive "Yes". A more involved definition is that consent is the positive cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will. A person must act freely and voluntarily and have knowledge of the act or transaction involved.
Sexual assault is physical contact of a sexual nature in the absence of clear, knowing and voluntary consent.
Very Important: An individual cannot consent:
who is unaware that the act is being committed;
who is obviously incapacitated by any drug or intoxicant;
who is coerced by supervisory or disciplinary authority;
who is being purposely compelled by force, threat of force, or deception;
whose ability to consent or resist is obviously impaired because of mental or physical condition.
Only a person who willingly says “Yes” without threats, fear, or being drunk/drugged and who is fully aware and completely understands what is being asked of them and has complete freedom of choice in the matter is giving their consent.
A person that is drunk or drugged even if the word “yes” is spoken cannot give their consent. Likewise, a person that says, "No", or doesn’t say anything at all such as an unconscious person has not given their consent.That’s right: No answer or no response does not mean and is not actually a “Yes.”
Just because someone said “Yes” once doesn’t mean there is an open invitation, automatic green light to the same question at any time in the future. Consent must be given every time in words and actions to a clear question. Maybe it’s a one time deal. Maybe for two or three times and that’s it. It depends on the person, in the moment.
AND, THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART. Watch this brilliant video to better understand consent. It's an effective use of stick figures and a cup of tea entitled, “How to Explain Consensual Sex with a Cup of Tea.”
"Explicit" version: very strong language
SoÌˆchting (p83) identifies several proximal risk factors have been examined in relation to rape vulnerability including:
attitudes and beliefs
behavior & frequency
ability to detect danger cues
assertiveness and communication
Prior victimization also appears to be a very strong risk factor as women with multiple incidents of victimization seem to have difficulty in detecting dangerous situations (SoÌˆchting: 86).
Four risk factors are particularly relevant to college students:
date rape drugs
location (including the victim’s home and car)
UNDERREPORTED. According to the United States Department of Justice, sexual assault is a vastly underreported crime. The FBI Uniform Crime Report 2000 states that a rape is reported about once every five minutes (911rape.org), whereas the Rape, Assault, & Incest National Network (RAINN), using data from the USDOJ, calculates that an average of one sexual assault occurs every 2.5 minutes. Additionally, one in six American women are victims of sexual assault (one in 33 men), and there were an annual average of 200,780 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault in 2004-05 (RAINN).
LESS THAN 5%. Unfortunately, sexual assault on campus follows the national trend with less than five percent of completed and attempted rapes of college students believed to be reported (Karjane: 5). A variety of individual, institutional, and socio-cultural factors at colleges and universities contribute to victims’ reluctance to report the crime. Reasons given for not reporting include not fully understanding what occurred, campus drug and alcohol use policies, adjudication, and trauma response (psychological distress, denial, etc.). Acquaintance rape is especially troubling to the victim because of pre-existing relationship between the victim and perpetrator that result in a range of conflicting emotions that inhibit a willingness to report (Karjane: 9). Bill Foley, former Chief of Public Safety at Saint Mary’s College of California (Moraga, CA) believes that embarrassment is a key factor why sexual assault is not more widely reported.
COLLEGE: ONE IN FIVE. These numbers are especially relevant to college and university students as 80% of rape victims are under the age of 30 (RAINN), 22.2% of sexual assault victims are between the ages of 18 and 24 (911rape.org), and one in five female students are expected experience completed rape over a typical five year collegiate career (Karjane: 4).
METHOD: 5681 12- to 18-year-old adolescents who reported heterosexual dating experiences at Wave 2. These participants were followed-up ~5 years later (Wave 3) when they were aged 18 to 25.
RESULTS: Compared with participants reporting no teen dating violence victimization at Wave 2, female participants experiencing victimization reported increased heavy episodic drinking, depressive symptomatology, suicidal ideation, smoking, and IPV victimization at Wave 3, whereas male participants experiencing victimization reported increased antisocial behaviors, suicidal ideation, marijuana use, and IPV victimization at Wave 3, controlling for sociodemographics, child maltreatment, and pubertal status.
CONCLUSIONS: The results from the present analyses suggest that dating violence experienced during adolescence is related to adverse health outcomes in young adulthood. Findings from this study emphasize the importance of screening and offering secondary prevention programs to both male and female victims.
1 in 10 teens experience physical abuse by a romantic partner.
3 in 10 teens report verbal or psychological abuse by a romantic partner.
Girls experiencing teen dating violence are more likely than boys to suffer long-term negative behavioral and health consequences, including suicide attempts, depression, cigarette smoking and marijuana use.
SURPRISE: Equal power between sexes. This differs from traditional power imbalance of adult relationships.
MORE THAN 25% of 3,745 teenagers in a dating relationship experienced some form of cyber dating abuse victimization in the prior year to the survey. Teenagers reported that their social networking accounts were hacked without permission, that they were texted about unwanted sex and that they were pressured to send sexual or naked photos of themselves.
Specifically, they found eight ways in which partners used electronic communications, the last six of which were related to violence, abuse, or controlling behaviors:
(1) establishing a relationship;
(2) nonaggressive communication;
(4) monitoring the whereabouts of a partner or controlling their activities;
(5) emotional aggression toward a partner;
(6) seeking help during a violent episode;
(7) distancing a partner’s access to self by not responding to calls, texts, and other contacts via technology; and
(8) reestablishing contact after a violent episode.
Nearly 6 percent of teenagers said their partners had posted embarrassing photos of them online, and 5 percent reported their partners wrote “nasty” comments about them on the partner’s profile page.
More than half reported physical abuse, which ranged from scratching to choking. And one-third said they were sexually coerced, defined as being forced or pressured to perform sex acts they didn’t want to do. Four percent of teenagers said they were harmed only in digital form.