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Dating Violence

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 2020

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