Know the Laws:
UPDATED June 21, 2012
Dating violence (or relationship abuse) is a pattern of controlling behavior that someone uses against a girlfriend or boyfriend. Please visit www.loveisrespect.org or www.thatsnotcool.com for more information.
Many people don't recognize that they are in an abusive relationship. They don't realize how they have gradually changed because of the abuse.
Are you a victim of dating violence? Answer the questions below. If you answer yes to even one of them, you may be in an abusive relationship, or your relationship is likely to become abusive. Abuse isn't just hitting. It's yelling, threatening, name-calling, saying things like, "I'll kill myself if you leave me," obsessive phone calling, emailing, IMing or texting, and extreme possessiveness.
Does your boyfriend/girlfriend:
Possible effects of being in an abusive relationship include:
Talking about relationships problems is never easy, especially when you're talking to an adult. It's normal to want to solve your problems on your own. It's normal not to want to get anyone in trouble, or betray a friend's confidence.
Sometimes, however, there are problems too big to handle without help, and it can be a big relief to involve a trusted adult. The advocates at loveisrespect.org can help you figure out when you should talk to an adult, who you should talk to, and what to say.
Unfortunately, leaving an abusive relationship does not mean that the danger has ended. Visit http://www.loveisrespect.org/get-help/breaking-up/ to find help with how to break up and end a relationship safely.
With the popularity of Facebook and MySpace, many people have profiles and use these social networking sites to stay connected to friends, post pictures and share information. If you are in an abusive relationship, your abuser may be using your Facebook or MySpace profile in harmful ways against you. They may be stalking you (see Cyber Stalking page on WomensLaw.org), or going into your account (if they know your password) and sending messages from it as if they were you, or writing mean or harmful things on your “wall”. They may also be spreading pictures or hurtful comments about you to others by using Facebook or MySpace. It may be a good idea to deactivate your account for awhile until you feel safe again, but if you plan on staying on Facebook or MySpace then here are some tips:
- If your abuser knows your password, think about changing it
- You can block anyone from seeing your profile, finding you through the search engine or interacting with your profile in any way, by doing the following:
1. Go to Settings
2. Click "Manage" on the Privacy option
3. Type the name of the person you want to block in the field
Note: This is not permanent, so if you change your mind later you can "unblock" someone.
- If your abuser created a MySpace or Facebook account pretending to be you this is identity theft and it is a crime. You local law enforcement should be able to help you. You can also contact the administrator of the site and ask them to remove the profile. Report them on Myspace here or contact Facebook at firstname.lastname@example.org.