Below is a handy list of ten things you can do to help prevent relationship violence. It is important to note that while you can take steps to protect yourself from domestic violence, it is the abuser’s responsibility for the abuse. If your partner hurts you physically, mentally, emotionally, or sexually, know that that was his/her choice to do so.
1) Try to find someone close to you in age. Large age gaps in a relationship can result in a power and/or life experience gap that can lead to dysfunctional relationships (Aistrup 2019, March 25).
2)Become informed on what abuse in a relationship looks like. You can look online to websites such as youth.gov and loveisrespect.org for advice on what to look for in healthy relationships and on what abusive relationships look like.
3)Keep close relationships to key support persons in your life, such as parents, grandparents, trusted friends, trusted religious teachers, and/or others. A solid support network can help you navigate the world of dating and love so that you won’t be alone (and also won’t be as vulnerable to manipulative/violent partners (Youth.gov).
4) Learn about and work on communication skills, particularly those that help you be assertive in a relationship, to help achieve a balance of power in your relationship (Gordon, 2020, Jan 30).
5) Know what your relational and sexual boundaries are and make them known to your partner should the need arise.
6) If you use dating apps to help you find love, make sure you study up on the risks associated with doing so. Go to https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/dating-apps-threats/19905/ (Are Dating Apps Safe?) to help you learn more.
7) Learn about appropriate and inappropriate uses of technology in a relationship. How your partner chooses to communicate with you and with others about you via social media/phone calls/texts can say a lot about what your partner thinks about you. Social media and other cyber media can also be platforms of abuse themselves (Gordon 2019, Juy 31). Go to https://www.verywellmind.com/spotting-digital-dating-abuse-4158244 (Behind the Keyboard: Spotting Digital Dating Abuse) to help you learn more.
8) Remember that it is ok to ask for help if you are currently in an abusive/violent relationship. Reach out to your support network or to local law enforcement if needed to help you get out of a dangerous relationship.
9) Remember that you are a human being that deserves to be treated with respect. If you see that you are not being treated with respect and kindness by your partner, you may want to re-evaluate the relationship.
10) Know that there are other men/women who won’t beat you and who will treat you with love and respect if you decide that your current partner is too dangerous to be with. You are not doomed to be forever alone if you decide to find someone else.
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Aistrup, A. (2019, March 25). Relationship age gaps: a debate on how much is too much. Retrieved from https://bruinvoice.net/5897/feature/relationship-age-gaps-a-debate- on-how-much-is-too-much/
Golovina, A. (2017, Oct 25) Are dating apps safe? Kaspersky daily. Retrieved from https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/dating-apps-threats/19905/.
Gordon, S. (2019, July 31). Behind the keyboard: Spotting digital dating abuse. Verywell Mind. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/spotting-digital-dating-abuse-4158244.
Gordon, S. (2020, Jan 30). 9 Ways to Prevent Teen Dating Violence. Verywell Family. Retrieved from https://www.verywellfamily.com/ways-to-prevent-teen-dating-violence-4129355
Youth.gov. Dating violence prevention. Retrieved from https://youth.gov/youth- topics/teen-dating-violence on February 6th, 2020.