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Dating & Relationships

What is Dating Violence?

Dating violence is abusive or violent behavior in dating relationships. It is not the same as getting angry or having fights. In an abusive relationship, one person is made to feel intimidated by the other.

  • It reflects the perpetrator’s desire to control and dominate the victim.
  • It happens in both heterosexual and same-sex relationships.
  • It can include a wide range of behaviors that include verbal and emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and physical violence.

The Dating Bill of Rights

  • I can change my mind, say no, and disagree without fear.
  • I can negotiate and compromise.
  • I can choose to have safe sex without being accused of cheating or not trusting.
  • I can hang out with my friends and family whenever I want.
  • I feel supported in my personal goals and activities.
  • I am shown affection in non-threatening and non-abusive ways.
  • I can live without fear and confusion from my partners anger.
    (Jewish Family & Children’s Services KOL ISHA Teen Safe Program.)

How to Help a Friend*

  • Listen- “I believe you.”
  • Acknowledge- “No one deserves to be abused.”
  • Express Concern- “I am concerned for your safety.”
  • Respect their choices- “It is important for you to make the best decisions for you.”
  • Be supportive- “You are not alone.”
  • Provide Encouragement- “Safelink and other local domestic violence hotlines are anonymous and confidential. You could call them for help.”

What is Digital Abuse?

Digital Abuse is when someone uses technology to control his of her partner. People in healthy relationships do not go through each other’s phones, emails or other personal information. Healthy relationships are based on trust and respect. If you have concerns about your partner’s behavior online or on their phone, start with a conversation instead of invading one’s privacy.

Examples of using technology as a tool of abuse can include:

  • Calling and texting constantly wanting to know where the person is and what they are doing
  • Pressuring someone to send pictures of a sexual nature
  • Forcing partner to share passwords to phone, email and social networking sites


* (Jane Doe Facts and Stats 2010)