Abuse dating violence

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month, but dating violence can happen across all age groups.

’ isn’t so straightforward—and that’s what can make it difficult to spot.” The warning signs for dating violence can be similar to warning signs for sexual assault and abuse.

With dating violence, early warning signs often begin with behaviors that are not physically violent.

SEXUAL COERCION AND REPRODUCTIVE CONTROL: When a partner sabotages your birth control efforts by demanding unprotected sex, lying about "pulling out," hiding or destroying birth control (i.e., flushing pills down the toilet or poking a hole in a condom), preventing you from getting an abortion or forcing you to get an abortion.

CULTURAL AND IDENTITY ABUSE: Threatening to "out" your sexual orientation or gender identity, your participation in S & M or polyamory, your HIV status, your immigration status, or any other personal information to family, friends, co-workers, landlords, law enforcement, etc.

“For example, demanding to know where someone is at all times, touching or pinching parts of someone's body in public when they’ve made it clear it’s unwanted, or controlling what type of clothes someone wears—these are all abusive behaviors that violate someone’s boundaries.” The laws about sexual violence and dating violence vary by state and situation.

The following information is not a legal guide or an exhaustive list—rather it’s a general list of early warning signs for behaviors that are, or could become, violent.

It occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships.

A person's gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation does not determine whether s/he can be a victim of domestic violence or an abuser.

For more information, go to our Abuse Among those Living with HIV page and our LGBTQ Victims page.

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