Sometimes, even the sweetest of romantic relationships can turn sour, or worse even violent. The National Center for Victims of Crime define dating violence as an “emotional, physical or mental abuse within the bounds of a romantic or potential relationship.”
The signs that your romantic partner can be violent and abusive is visible even during the first date, but you tend to overlook or even ignore it until it is too late.
You can, however, do something about it. Here are some ways to prevent dating violence in your relationship as well as with people you care about.
Talk to someone you trust – Some people doubt that they are even in a violent dating relationship. Confide about your situation to a person you trust such as family member, a friend, or a school counselor. If you feel ashamed or embarrassed to tell the people you love about it, violence hotlines can take your call anonymously and at the same time provides resources to help with your relationship and identify possible abuse.
Know the signs – Symptoms of violent behavior is easy to detect, such as a controlling behavior, sudden mood changes, or threats of violence from your significant other. If these signs manifest on your date, get help immediately.
Date with a companion – Some cases of dating violence occur during the first or second date, when two people are in the get-to-know-each-other stage. An example of dating violence during this early stage is date rape. Avoid these situations by having a friend or friends on your date. Try not to be alone with someone you do not know.
Be aware of alcohol and drugs – Cases of date rape sometimes occur because unconsciousness-inducing drugs (also known as “date rape drugs”) are secretly slipped into drinks. Remember to be careful when being offered alcoholic drinks from strangers, keep an eye on your drink, and control your alcohol consumption.
Prepare yourself – Always bring your cell phone and money to call a cab before attending a date. This comes in handy in case you are uncomfortable with your date, so you could leave immediately.