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What Is Dating Violence?

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Using the National FCCLA Program, STOP the Violence, Ashley Smith and Lupe Curiel have completed a project focusing on preventing dating violence that will be shared at the District 5 STAR Events later in January.  Here is a summary of their project.

Dating violence includes any behavior by a dating partner that

  • is used to manipulate

  • Is used to gain control

  • Is used to gain power over someone

  • makes a person feel bad about himself or herself or other people who are close to this person (such as friends or family)

  • Makes a person afraid of his or her boyfriend or girlfriend

Abusive behaviors may include the following:

Physically Abusive:  hitting, pinching, shaking, throwing things, scratching, choking, shoving, pushing, using a weapon, biting, threatening, spitting, pulling hair

Mentally/Emotionally Abusive:  ignoring a date’s feelings, insulting a date’s beliefs or values, acting in an intimidating way, using sexually derogatory names, calling a date names, isolating a date from others, driving reckless to scare a date, displaying inappropriate anger, damaging personal property, scaring a date, keeping a date from leaving, putting down family and friends, humiliating a date in public or private, telling lies, purposefully injuring an animal, threatening to hurt oneself

Sexually Abusive:  forcing a date to have sex or forcing a date to do other sexual things he or she doesn’t want to do

Guidelines for Helping People Who Are Being Abused

  1. Believe your friends’ story

  2. Make sure they’re safe

  3. Let them know they don’t deserve to be abused

  4. Ask them a lot of questions to get them to think about the problem

  5. Ask them what their options are and what they can do (stay, leave, talk to partner,  or get advice from a professional)

  6. Let them know that abuse almost always gets worse in a relationship if it is ignored.  If the abuse is going to stop, then the person being abused has to be willing to take actions to end it.

  7. Encourage them to seek help.  Use resources available in your community or area as well as personal resources. 

Source:  Safe Dates Curriculum