Dating violence is emotional, physical or mental abuse within the bounds of a romantic or potential relationship, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime. Sometimes, good relationships turn sour, but no one deserves to be in a relationship where they are the victim of violence. There are certain things you can do to prevent dating violence in your relationship as well as with people you care about.
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Talk to Someone
Some people doubt whether or not they are even in a violent dating situation and become confused by their relationship. Violence hotlines are an effective resource for getting help with your relationship and identifying possible violence or other abuse, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime. If you don’t want to talk to a stranger, find someone you trust, such as a family member, close friend or even a school counselor, and talk to them about your relationship.
It’s easier to avoid dating violence if you know the signs to look for. If you notice controlling behavior, sudden mood changes or threats of violence from your significant other, get help immediately.
Some dating violence occurs on the first or second date when two people aren’t necessarily a couple. Date rape is an example of the type of physical violence that can occur early on during dating. To avoid these kinds of situations, avoid pairing off with just one person on a first date. Double or group date with people you know in order to avoid being alone with someone you don’t know.
Be Aware of Alcohol and Drugs
Date rape drugs are often slipped into people’s drinks, so be careful when consuming alcohol, especially in public places. Don’t accept an open drink from someone you don’t know, and control the amount of alcohol you consume. Too much can cause you to lose control of your surroundings, allowing someone else to take advantage of you.
If you feel uncomfortable, you should leave any type of dating situation at a moment’s notice. You may be hesitant to do so if you’re not prepared with a cell phone or spare change and money to call a cab. Always be prepared to leave a situation you’re not comfortable with, and have the resources on hand at all times to be able to do so.
Looking out for red flags can protect you from dating violence. According to Help Guide, behaviors such as destroying your belongings or an unpredictable temper may foreshadow dating violence. Pay attention to these signals in your partner so you can protect yourself.