February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and here at West Lake High we want to provide awareness on what dating violence might look like and how to receive help.
What is dating violence?
Dating violence is a type of intimate partner violence. It occurs between two people in a close relationship. The nature of dating violence can be physical, emotional, or sexual.
- Physical—This occurs when a partner is pinched, hit, shoved, or kicked.
- Emotional—This means threatening a partner or harming his or her sense of self-worth. Examples include name calling, shaming, bullying, embarrassing on purpose, or keeping him/her away from friends and family.
- Sexual—This is forcing a partner to engage in a sex act when he or she does not or cannot consent.
Who is at risk for dating violence?
Studies show that people who harm their dating partners are more depressed and are more aggressive than peers. Other warning signs for using dating violence include:
- Poor social skills
- Inability to manage anger and conflict
- Belief that using dating violence is acceptable
- Having more traditional beliefs about the roles of males and females
- Witnessing violence at home
- Alcohol use
- Having behavior problems in other areas
- Having a friend involved with dating violence
- Witnessing violence in the community
What are some warning signs I should look for?
- Checking cell phones, emails or social networks without permission
- Extreme jealousy or insecurity
- Constant belittling or put-downs
- Explosive temper
- Isolation from family and friends
- Making false accusations
- Constant mood swings towards you
- Physically inflicting pain or hurt in any way
- Telling someone what to do
- Repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex
There are many resources for victims of dating violence and those who are looking to help. Some of these include:
Nora Schultz, MSSW Intern