Dating violence is when someone you are seeing romantically harms you in some way, whether it is physically, sexually, emotionally, or all three. It can happen on a first date, or once you’ve fallen deeply in love. Dating violence is never your fault. Learn the signs of dating violence or abuse and how to get help.
Some signs of dating abuse include:
- Forcing you to have sex when you don’t want to
- Telling you that you owe them sex in exchange for taking you out on a date
- Acting overly jealous, including constantly accusing you of cheating
- Being extremely controlling, such as telling you what to wear, forbidding you from seeing friends and family, or demanding to check your phone, email, and social media
- Constantly checking in with you and getting angry if you don’t check in with him or her
- Putting you down, including your appearance (clothes, makeup, hair, weight), intelligence, and activities
- Trying to isolate you from other people, including by insulting them
- Blaming you for the abusive behavior and listing the ways you “made him or her do it”
- Refusing to take responsibility for their own actions
- Apologizing for abuse and promising to change again and again
- Having a quick temper, so you never know what you will do or say that may cause a problem
- Not allowing you to end the relationship or making you feel guilty for leaving
- Threatening to call the authorities (police, deportation officials, child protective services, etc.) as a way to control your behavior
- Stopping you from using birth control or going to the doctor or nurse
- Committing any physical violence, such as hitting, pushing, or slapping you
None of the behavior described above is OK. Even if your partner does only a few of these things, it’s still abuse. It is never OK for someone to hit you or be cruel to you in any way.
Call the OWH HELPLINE: 1-800-994-9662 9 a.m. — 6 p.m. ET, Monday — Friday The OWH helpline is a resource line. The OWH helpline does not provide medical advice.
Please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
SOURCE: Office on Women's Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.