What it looks like, the facts, safety planning, helpful hints
This type of abuse begins when we start dating and developing intimate relationships. It can happen at any age and in both heterosexual and gay relationships.
Dating Violence Can Take Many Forms
Sexual molestation and sexual assault, including:
unwanted sexual touching
forcing unsafe, degrading or offensive sexual activity
denying or ridiculing a person's sexuality
control of reproductive decisions
insisting partner cut off communication and contact with family and/or friends
grandiose promises of marriage or security, often under the guise of love
destruction of personal property
degrading comments or put downs
Physical abuse and torture:
assault, which can include pushing, slapping, kicking, biting, beating, burning, strangulation and/or use of a weapon
physical neglect, such as denial of food and/or medication
inappropriate personal or medical care
Stalking behaviours, including:
persistent and unwanted attention
spying and following
excessive telephone, cell phone, internet or test message communication
spreading rumors (often about sexual activity)
inappropriate phone, internet and/or test messaging
Younger women, low income persons, those from ethno cultural or other marginalized communities, aboriginal women, women from violent backgrounds are more likely to be victims of abuse.
Facts About Dating and Sexual Abuse
Females are 2 to 3 more times more likely to experience sexual abuse that males
Young women are at a greater risk of sexual assault, physical assault and murder than older women.
Watch for the following clues that a person may be experiencing dating violence
signs of physical injury
excessive absence from work or quitting work, poor work performance
emotional outbursts, mood or personality changes
isolation, keep to themselves
drug or alcohol use
Women of all ages can take measures to prevent becoming abuse victims. Recognizing trouble signs is an important first step. It is equally vital for women to value themselves and take action to avoid partners who try and maintain power or control over their time, body and actions.
Safety Planning, Tips and Actions
Consider double dating the first few times you go out with a new person
Before leaving on a date know the exact plans for the evening and make sure a parent or friend knows these plans and what time to expect you home
Let your date know you are expected to call or tell that person when you arrive at home
Ensure that you have the resources to get home on your own
Be aware of your decreased ability to react if under the influence of drugs or alcohol
If you leave a party with someone you don't know, make sure you tell a reliable person your plans and whom you are with.
Ask a friend to call and make sure you made it home safely
Assert yourself when necessary
Be firm and straightforward in your relationships
Trust your instincts
If a situation makes you feel uncomfortable, try to be calm and think of a way to remove yourself from the situation
Examine your relationship and encourage people who date to examine their relationships. Anyone in a relationship should consider whether they are:
afraid of their partner
made to feel stupid, useless or worthless
being cut off from family and friends
feeling forced into sexual activity
being threatened with physical abuse
being manipulated emotionally, such as "if you love me you will do as I want"
experiencing physical abuse, such as shoving, grabbing, hitting, pinching or kicking
witnessing wild mood swings, perhaps alternating between cruel and kind, almost as if there are two personalities
receiving frequent promises their partner will change
dating someone who denies or belittles past abuse that has occurred.
encourage women facing abuse to talk to a trusted friend, family member, neighbour, health professional, faith leader, supervisor, co-worker or the local police
explore perspective or current relationships by taking the quiz below
Does your partner try to control everything you do?
Are you discouraged from seeing family and friends?
Are you put down, insulted and called names?
Is your partner extremely jealous and possessive?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you are being abused. This is not love
Do you ever treat your partner as a possession?
Do you blame or insult your partner for anything and everything that goes wrong?
Do you prevent your partner from seeing other people without you?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you could be an abuser. Take responsibility, this is not love.
Leduc Protective Services Building (Leduc RCMP Detachment) #1, 4119 50th Street Leduc, AlbertaT9E 7L9