Dating violence is unfortunately common in the United States. Follow these three tips for preventing dating violence!
1. Prevent Dating Violence by Respecting Your Date’s Physical Boundaries
Physical violence occurs when one person physically harms another. This can happen intentionally or unintentionally and can include: hitting, kicking, pushing, unwanted sexual contact, stalking, physical intimidation, etc. According to the Center for Disease Control, “About 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime.”
Prevent dating violence, or intimate partner violence, by respecting your date’s physical boundaries. Ask your date before you touch them, even for friendly gestures like hugs.
Listen to your date when they express that they would not like to do something physical with you. Do not put pressure on your date to change their mind. If your date makes you angry, use an anger management technique rather than attacking them. You can prevent dating violence by staying choosing to stay nonviolent.
2. Prevent Dating Violence by Respecting Your Date’s Emotional Boundaries
Setting emotional boundaries in any relationship is important. An emotional boundary is anything you need in a relationship to feel emotionally safe, meaning we can trust the other person to be ourselves around them. Set emotional boundaries by communicating the freedoms of thought and action you expect within your relationship.
Emotional abuse often occurs when one partner does not respect the emotional boundary of another. Emotional or psychological abuse is another type of intimate partner violence. Emotional abuse is anything someone may do to control another, without resorting to physical assault. This could include threatening, guilting, humiliating, or degrading your date.
My best friend, who we’ll call Heather, was in an abusive relationship. Heather’s ex-husband would punch holes in their home walls when he was mad- something that made Heather and her daughters feel unsafe. Heather set the emotional boundary that her husband (at the time) needed to go to therapy for his anger so he would stop his abusive behaviors.
Heather’s ex-husband refused to go to therapy and instead blamed Heather for his behaviors. Do not be like Heather’s ex-husband. Respect your dating partner’s emotional boundaries.
3. Prevent Dating Violence by Having an Open Mind
Someone is transgender, or trans, when their gender identity differs from the gender the doctor assigned them at birth. Gender identity refers to your ideas or feelings about yourself as either male, female, neither, or both. There is a wide range of opinions about transgender people. Negative opinions of transgender people sometimes lead others to commit hate crimes against them.
What does this have to do with dating violence? Well, according to the Office for Victims of Crime, “50 percent of transgender people surveyed had been hit by a primary partner after coming out as transgender.” Transgender women of color are more likely to experience intimate partner violence than any other group in the LGBT+ community.
Regardless of your beliefs about transgender people, no one may take the life or physical safety of another. Open-minded people can learn surprising news about another’s identity without getting emotionally or physically violent. Prevent dating violence by being open-minded!
Dating violence, or intimate partner violence, occurs when one dating partner victimizes another through physical or emotional abuse. You can prevent dating violence! If you and your partner respect each other’s physical and emotional boundaries and maintain an open mindset, you should be able to prevent dating violence in your relationship.