Dating Safely

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Teenagers, too, can experience violence in dating relationships. In dating violence, one partner tries to maintain control and power over the other through physical or mental abuse. Dating violence crosses all racial, economic and social lines.

You can choose better relationships when you identify the early warning signs of an abusive relationship. You are a valuable person who deserves to be treated with respect. You have choices. If you or someone you know is in an unhealthy relationship, don’t ignore it. Get help. Your School Resource Officer is a good place to start.

What it is

Dating is a great way to meet new people and have a good time. However, there comes a time when dating can be abusive and violent.

Abuse isn't just hitting. It's yelling, threatening, name calling, saying "I'll kill myself if you leave me," obsessive phone calling or paging, and extreme possessiveness.

Non-consensual sex is called rape and is a crime. Date rape is a betrayal of trust and causes long-lasting emotional injuries. Date rape or acquaintance rape is about power, control, and anger - not romance.

Did You Know
  • Dating violence or abuse affects one in four teens.
  • A woman is four times more likely to be raped by someone she knows than by a stranger. (Robin Warshaw, 1988.)
  • Only 17 percent of rapists are strangers
  • 83 percent of perpetrators are acquaintances (friends of the family, dates, boyfriends, relatives, authority figures). Diana Russell, 1986.
  • 55 percent of rapes where the perpetrator is a stranger are reported to the police, while only 19 percent of acquaintance rapes are reported. Only 2 percent of acquaintance rapes were reported when the perpetrator was a friend of the family or a date. Diana Russell, 1986.  
  • In a study by Mary P. Koss at Kent State University, one out of every eight women students had been raped. Of those:
    • 10.6% reported being raped by strangers 
    • 24.9% reported being raped by acquaintances 
    • 30% by steady dates 
    • 21% by casual dates 
    • 8.9% by family members Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency, 1991. 
What You Can Do
  • Don't put up with it
  • Know you're not alone
  • Understand that you have done nothing wrong
  • Know that the longer you stay in the relationship, the more intense the violence becomes
  • Talk with your friends, family, and other people you trust
  • Get help immediately
  • Get medical attention immediately if rape occurs
  • Get counseling
Other Resources

Most of the information above was obtained from the National Crime Prevention Council. Web Link


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