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Dating abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of age, financial status, race, gender, sexual orientation or background, and if we want to raise awareness about it and help prevent it, we need to start with the basics. Dating abuse is a pattern of behaviors one person uses to gain and maintain power and control over their partner.Many people assume abuse means that physical violence is happening, but that’s not always the case. Young people who abuse their partners do so because they feel they need to exercise power and control over the other person—and that’s never OK.Whether it’s holding hands, kissing, touching, or anything else, it’s really important for everyone in the relationship to feel comfortable with what’s happening. To have the healthiest relationship, partners should know each other’s wants, goals, fears and limits.Talking about boundaries is a great way to make sure that each person’s needs are being met and you feel safe in the relationship.One in three (36%) dating college students has given a dating partner their computer, online access, email or social network passwords and these students are more likely to experience digital dating abuse.Types of Abuse: PHYSICAL • Hitting • Slapping • Choking • Kicking • Shoving • Biting • Force-feeding • Assaulting EMOTIONAL & VERBAL • Putting you down • Embarrassing you in public, threatening you in any way • Telling you what to do, telling you what to wear SEXUAL • Pressuring or forcing you to do anything sexual without your consent like forcing you to have sex or perform sexual acts that you are not comfortable with • Restricting access to birth control • Forcing you to watch pornography or participate in pornographic videos, sexting FINANCIAL • Taking your paychecks • Not paying bills • Preventing you from working • Controlling where and how you work DIGITAL • Sending threats via text, social media or email • Stalking or humiliating you on social media • Logging into your social media or email accounts without permission • Forcing you to share passwords Drugs and alcohol can affect a person’s judgment and behavior—but they do not excuse abuse or violence. A healthy relationship requires honest communication, trust, safety, and respect.This applies to all relationships, regardless of each person’s sexual orientation.While different people may define relationships in different ways, there are a few key ingredients that must be present in all relationships for the relationship to have a healthy foundation. In a healthy relationship, all partners are able to openly talk about and agree on what kind of activity they want to engage in. Trusting someone means that you think they are reliable, you have confidence in them and you feel safe with them physically and emotionally. Here are some questions to consider when deciding if trust is present in your relationship: Setting Boundaries in a Relationship Whether you’re casually dating or have been going out for a while, setting boundaries is an important part of any relationship.
Help us spread awareness and stop dating abuse before it starts!In the spirit of strategic followership, we’ll amplify their voices throughout the month! The Partnership will be working with our Member Programs and allied organizations to collect youth input.