Dating Violence

Definition: According to the FWISD Student Code of Conduct, dating violence is the intentional use of physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse by a person to harm, threaten, intimidate, or control another person in a dating relationship, as defined by Section 71.0021, Family Code.

Did you know?
• Both girls and boys are victims of abuse and are perpetrators of abuse
• Abuse almost always reoccurs in the relationship and most abuse gets more severe with time.
• Between 10 and 38% of high school students have been victims of dating violence.
• Among students who are currently dating, as many as 59% have experienced physical violence, and 96% have experienced psychological or emotional abuse.
• Adults who use violence with their dating partners often being doing so during adolescence, with the first episode typically occurring by age 15.

Characteristics or signs of the behaviors:
• Physical abuse - hitting, pinching, shaking, choking, shoving, pushing, biting, spitting, pulling hair, threatening, throwing things.
• Psychological/Emotional abuse - ignoring your feelings, insulting your beliefs or values, calling you names, isolating, displaying inappropriate anger, scaring you/driving recklessly, keeping you from leaving, putting down your family/friends, humiliating you in public/private, and threatening to hurt oneself.
• Sexual abuse - forcing a date to have sex, forcing a date to do other sexual things he or she doesn't want to do.
Includes any behavior by a dating partner that is used to manipulate, gain control, makes a person feel bad about self or others, makes a person afraid of her/his boyfriend/girlfriend.

Guidelines for helping people who are being abused:
• Believe your friend's story and make sure they are safe.
• Let them know that they don't deserve to be abused.
• Ask them lots of questions to get them to think about the problem.
• Ask them what their options are and what they can do. (Stay, leave, talk to partner, get advice)
• Let them know that abuse almost always gets worse in a relationship if it's ignored.
• Encourage them to seek help. (See community resources below)

Community Resources:
Call 911 in an emergency
Parents/School Officials (Counselors, Interventionist, Principal, Favorite Teacher)
Women's Center Crisis Hotline: 817-927-2737
Safe Haven: 877-701-7233
National Dating Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

SOURCE: FORT WORTH ISD “IT’S NOT OKAY” PROGRAM – TEEN DATING VIOLENCE: http://www.fwisd.org/Page/2164