Recognizing the Signs of Dating Abuse
Domestic Abuse and Dating Abuse
Domestic abuse can happen to anyone and what starts out like a loving, attentive relationship can become abusive very quickly. Women in dating relationships can find themselves in terrible danger just as much as married women. As women across America prepare to head off to college I thought a blog about Dating Abuse would be timely.
I hope that violence never visits you or any woman you love, but if it does, it is important to know that help is available.
Abusers are deceiving
According to the National Domestic Abuse Hotline‘s website “…many abusive partners may seem absolutely perfect in the early stages of a relationship. Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight, but rather emerge and intensify as the relationship grows.”
Signs to look for
There are warning signs that you should learn about.
- Jealousy and insecurity by your partner
- Possessiveness and False accusations
- Frequent put-downs or hurtful, belittling comments
- Temper outbursts and explosiveness
- Attempts to isolate you from your family
- Checking cell phones, emails or social networks without permission
- Inflicting physical pain and/or rough treatment.
- Frequent efforts to control what you do, who you see, where you go
- Repeatedly pressuring you to have sex
LoveisRespect.org has a page that provides a powerful visual image they’ve titled the Power and Control Wheel. Visit the site to see the various ways that Power and Control manifest in abusive relationships. While you are there read a first person account of a young woman who saw a relationship turn negative suddenly Recognizing the Signs .
Why do you stay?
There are many reasons* people remain in abusive relationships that include:
- Believing Abuse is Normal
- Embarrassment or Shame
- Low Self-Esteem
- Love: So often, the victim feels love for their abusive partner.
- Cultural/Religious Reasons
- Language Barriers/Immigration Status
- Lack of Money/Resources: Financial abuse is common, and a victim may be financially dependent on their abusive partner.
*Adapted from The National Domestic Violence Hotline “Why Don’t They Just Leave?”
Here is a video from CBS News made by Teen Advocates on Dating Abuse
Help is available
The most important thing is to know that there are resources and support. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has compiled statistics on Domestic Violence and studies have shown that 1 in 4 women have been subjected to severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
In Asheville and Buncombe County:
In Henderson County:
In Macon County:
What to do if you are in an abusive relationship.
If you are in an abusive relationship or you begin to suspect that you are, reach out to someone. If you can’t bring yourself to talk to a friend, your family, your professor, or your doctor, then consider calling one of the resources above.
Did you know that you can donate your old cellphone to help victims of Domestic Violence? Verizon has a program called Hopeline that takes donated phones and with the money raised provides grants and resources to address domestic violence.