Dating violence is repeated verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse used to frighten, hurt, and control a girlfriend or boyfriend.  It is a power play and may include:

  • Not allowing them to go out with friends
  • Telling them how to dress, act, or think
  • Hitting or slapping
  • Pulling hair
  • Threatening to find someone else
  • Name calling or put downs
  • Not letting them make decisions
  • Expecting them to apologize or cover for you
  • Following them around
  • Constantly criticizing them
  • Jealousy
  • Possessiveness
  • Threatening suicide if they want to break up
  • Accusing them of flirting
  • Forcing sexual acts
  • Talking them into going further sexually than they want
  • Not letting them leave when they want
  • Destroying letters or gifts
  • Blaming them for violence

The Person Who Is Being Hurt May

  • Be scared
  • Feel confused that someone they love hurts them
  • Deny or minimize the behavior
  • Try to change their behavior to stop their partner's behavior
  • Change the way they dress
  • Give up or be cut off from their friends
  • Start to lose self-confidence

The Person Who Is Being Violent May

  • Make excuses for their behavior
  • Think abuse is normal in a relationship
  • Make threats
  • Feel like they do not have control in the relationship
  • Grow increasingly abusive over time
  • Face criminal charges
  • Be dropped from their group of friends

If You Are In A Violent Relationship

  • Remember, you are not responsible for the violence—you cannot make someone hurt you, they choose to do it
  • The abuse will happen more and hurt more without outside help
  • Find someone to talk with about the abuse
  • Think of ways you can be safe
  • Recognize that sometimes it is dangerous to be with your partner, even though you care about them

If You Are Being Violent In Your Relationship

  • No one can make you use violence—you are the only one who can choose to be abusive
  • No one has a right to control or hurt another person
  • Accept responsibility for your actions
  • Find someone to talk to who can help you
  • Remember, you don’t have to physically hurt someone to be abusive—think about all of your behaviors

Our Partners

245 S. 84th Street
Suite 200
Lincoln, NE 68510

© Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence 2021

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