In Mississippi, 39.7% of women and 31.7% of men will experience physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. And, according to research from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), it is most likely that these individuals first experienced some form of partner violence between the ages of 11 and 17.
Teens and young adults may mistake abusive behaviors as normal for their age or may be completely unaware of what signs to look for that identify someone as an abusive or manipulative partner. For these reasons alone, it’s important to educate teens about the dangers of domestic and dating violence, what signs to look out for, and what to do to help someone in need.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to learn more about these behaviors, raise awareness, and find what you can do to help those in need. Read on to learn more and to get the facts.
Domestic Violence vs Dating Violence
First, let’s take time to unpack the difference between “domestic violence” and “dating violence”. Domestic violence refers to any form of abusive behavior that takes place in any kind of relationship. This includes violence between family members, friends, and even dating partners.
Dating violence refers only to abuse that takes place between dating partners. And although we’ve discussed what qualifies as dating violence in a previous article, we’ll review again what behaviors to look out for.
Behaviors to Watch
Dating violence can manifest in the following ways: physical violence, sexual violence, psychological aggression, and stalking.
Watch out for these behaviors early on in your relationship to help you identify and separate yourself from an abusive partner [Source: RAINN]. If partner is:
- Making demands on your time and how you spend it
- Restricting your contact with family or friends
- Controlling what you wear, what you look like, or what you can change about your appearance
- Touching you in public without your permission
- Controlling your reproductive choices or forms of birth control
- Ignoring your personal space or boundaries
- Pressuring you into engaging in physical or sexual activity
Dating violence can also take place over the phone or on the internet. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a parent, guardian, or trusted adult if someone constantly sends you unwanted calls or texts or makes demands that violate your boundaries. [Source: CDC]
Help Increase Awareness
Dating violence and domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of their age or background. However, young people may be more susceptible to being influenced, coerced, or forced into abusive relationships which can turn into cases of dating or domestic violence.
Share what you’ve learned with others, and help increase awareness, support, and understanding around domestic and dating violence. Because everyone deserves a healthy and loving relationship.
For more information, and to access additional resources, check out the lists below.
Websites & Articles:
- FNF – Dating Violence is Domestic Violence
- Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- CDC – Preventing Teen Dating Violence
- Love is Respect