Dating violence can take many forms, one of which is sexual abuse. Forced or unwanted sexual activity within a dating relationship is against the law.
Stalking or harassment are other forms of dating violence. These include following, watching or calling in a persistent, malicious or unwanted manner or threatening a current or former partner's family, friends or pets.
Dating violence can also take the form of emotional or psychological abuse, where one person puts down or tries to control another (for example by limiting contact with friends or family).
Some common warning signs and risk factors include:
- One partner is overly jealous, possessive, bossy or controlling
- One partner is constantly checking on the other
- One partner won't accept breaking up
- One partner regularly yells at or insults the other
- One partner seems afraid or nervous around the other
- One partner grabs, hits, pushes or shoves the other
- One partner brags about mistreating others, loses his or her temper easily, or has a history of fighting
- One partner pressures the other to have sex
- One partner has a history of bad relationships and blames others for them
- One partner abuses alcohol or drugs and may pressure the other to do so
- Friends and family fear for one partner's safety
If you are a young person who is being abused or if you witness someone else being abused, you can call the Kids' Help Phone free of charge at 1-800-668-6868 and speak to someone who can help you. You don't even need to give your name.
Note on Sources
Adapted from the Canadian Red Cross website.