HOW TO RECOGNIZE WHEN YOU ARE BEING ABUSED
TYPES OF ABUSE
There are many types of abuse and they are all difficult to experience. Explore this section to learn the different ways abuse can occur so you can better identify them. Remember, each type of abuse is serious and no one deserves to experience any form of it.
Emotional Abuse/Verbal Abuse
Non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring or “checking in,” excessive texting, humiliation, intimidation or isolation.
Being repeatedly watched, followed or harassed.
Using money or access to accounts to exert power and control over a partner.
Any intentional use of physical force with the intent to cause fear or injury, like hitting, shoving, biting, strangling, kicking or using a weapon.
Any action that impacts a person's ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstances in which sexual activity occurs, including restricting access to birth control or condoms. Ignoring someone's refusal to engage in sexual activities by repeatedly using emotional, verbal or physical pressure.
The use of technology such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. Often this behavior is a form of verbal or emotional abuse perpetrated through technology.
IS THIS ABUSE?
Dating abuse is a pattern of destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner. While we define dating violence as a pattern, that doesn't mean the first instance of abuse is not dating violence. It just recognizes that dating violence usually involves a series of abusive behaviors over a course of time.
WARNING SIGNS OF ABUSE
BECAUSE RELATIONSHIPS EXIST ON A SPECTRUM, IT CAN BE HARD TO TELL WHEN A BEHAVIOR CROSSES THE LINE FROM HEALTHY TO UNHEALTHY OR EVEN ABUSIVE. USE THESE WARNING SIGNS OF ABUSE TO SEE IF YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS GOING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION:
- CHECKING YOUR CELL PHONE OR EMAIL WITHOUT PERMISSION
- CONSTANTLY PUTTING YOU DOWN
- EXTREME JEALOUSY OR INSECURITY
- EXPLOSIVE TEMPER
- ISOLATING YOU FROM FAMILY OR FRIENDS
- MAKING FALSE ACCUSATIONS
- MOOD SWINGS
- PHYSICALLY HURTING YOU IN ANY WAY
- TELLING YOU WHAT TO DO
- PRESSURING OR FORCING YOU TO HAVE SEX
If someone has touched you against your will tell a trusted adult.
The thought of sexual assaults, or rape, might conjure an image of a stranger jumping out of a shadowy place and attacking someone. But it's not only strangers who rape. About half of all people who are raped know the person who attacked them. When forced sex occurs between two people who already know each other, it's known as date rape or acquaintance rape. Date rape most often happens to females, but guys can be raped too. Even though most friendships and acquaintances never lead to violence, it's important for kids and teens to be aware of date rape and learn how to stay safe.
JUST THE FACTS
Here are some important facts about date rape that you can share with your preteen or teen:
- Rape is not about sex or passion. It is an act of control, aggression, and violence.
- Even if the two people know each other well — and even if they are dating or have been intimate before — no one has the right to force a sexual act on another person against his or her will.
- People are never "asking for it" because of the clothes they wear or the way they act. Someone who is raped is never to blame. Rape is always the fault of the rapist.
Alcohol may be involved in rapes. Drinking can loosen inhibitions, dull common sense, and — for some people — allow aggressive tendencies to surface.
Drugs also can play a role. You might have heard about "date rape" drugs like rohypnol ("roofies"), gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), and ketamine. Drugs like these can easily be mixed in drinks to make somebody lose consciousness and forget things that happen. People who have been given these drugs report feeling paralyzed, having blurred vision, and lack of memory. Even worse, mixing these drugs with alcohol can be dangerous and possibly fatal.