What is Dating Violence?
Dating violence is controlling, abusive, and aggressive behavior in a romantic relationship. It can include verbal, emotional, physical, sexual abuse, or in combination. Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence Domestic Abuse Resistance Team in Ruston, Louisiana For services, please call (318) 251.2255 or 1.888.411.1333.
Red Flags of Abuse
The following is a list of early warning signs that someone may be abusive. This list was put together by survivors of domestic and dating violence who reflected on the early phases of the battering relationship and identified some of the early warning signs of abusers.
- Wants to move too quickly into the relationship.
- Does not honor your boundaries.
- Is excessively jealous and accuses you of having affairs.
- Wants to know where you are all of the time and frequently calls, emails and texts you throughout the day.
- Criticizes you or puts you down; most commonly tells you that you are “crazy,” “stupid” and/or “fat,” or that no one would ever want or love you.
- Says one thing and does another.
- Takes no responsibility for their behavior and blames others. Has a history of battering.
- Blames the entire failure of previous relationships on their partner; for example, “My ex was a total bitch.”
- Grew up in an abusive or violent home.
- Insists that you stop spending time with your friends or family.
- Seems “too good to be true.”
- Insists that you stop participating in leisure interests.
- Rages out of control and is impulsive.
Pay attention to the “red flags “and trust your instincts. Survivors of domestic violence frequently report that their instincts told them that there was something wrong early on but they disregarded the warning signs and didn’t know that these signs were indicative of an abusive relationship. Always take time to get to know a potential partner and watch for patterns of behavior in a variety of settings. Keeping in touch with your support system and participating in good self-care can lower your risk of being involved in an abusive relationship.
Source: National Network to End Domestic Violence
If You Are a Victim of Dating Violence, You Might…
- Think it’s your fault.
- Feel angry, sad, lonely, depressed, or confused.
- Feel helpless to stop the abuse.
- Feel threatened or humiliated.
- Feel anxious.
- Not know what might happen next.
- Feel like you can’t talk to family and friends.
- Be afraid of getting hurt more seriously.
- Feel protective of your boyfriend or girlfriend.
Being a victim of dating violence is not your fault. Nothing you say, wear, or do gives anyone the right to hurt you. If you think you are in an abusive relationship, get help immediately. Don’t keep your concerns to yourself. Talk to someone you trust like a parent, teacher, school principal, counselor, or nurse. If you choose to tell, you should know that some adults are mandated reporters. This means they are legally required to report neglect or abuse to someone else, such as the police or child protective services. You can ask people if they are mandated reporters and then decide what you want to do. Some examples of mandated reporters are teachers, counselors, doctors, social workers, and in some cases, coaches or activity leaders. If you want help deciding whom to talk to, call a crisis line in your area. You might also want to talk to a trusted family member, a friend’s parent, an adult neighbor or friend, an older sibling or cousin, or other experienced person who you trust.
Think about ways you can be safer. This means thinking about what to do, where to go for help, and who to call ahead of time.
- Where can you go for help?
- Who can you call?
- Who will help you?
- How will you escape a violent situation?
Here are other precautions you can take:
- Let friends or family know when you are afraid or need help.
- When you go out, say where you are going and when you’ll be back.
- In an emergency, call 911 or the Louisiana Tech police department at 318-257-4018
- Memorize important phone numbers, such as the people to contact or places to go in an emergency.
- Keep spare change, calling cards, or a cell phone handy for immediate access to communication.
- Go out in a group or with other couples.
If you are a victim of dating violence, you might… If you are a Tech student, faculty, or staff member you can seek mental health services at the Counseling Center Program on campus or you can contact services in the community. Location: Keeny Hall 310 Phone number (318) 257-2488. Email: email@example.com
HELP someone else:
If you know someone is in an abusive relationship, here are a few ways to help:
- Tell the person that you are worried.
- Offer friendship and support.
- Ask how you can help.
- Encourage your friend to seek help.
- Avoid any confrontations with the abuser. This could be dangerous for you and your friend.