Myths and Facts About Dating Violence

College students do not have to worry about becoming victims of dating or domestic violence.
Dating and domestic abuse is a problem on college campuses and often an indication of abuse in subsequent relationships and marriages.
Violent relationships only happen in marriages.
An abusive or violent relationship can happen to anyone in an intimate relationship regardless of marital status. Domestic and relationship violence can begin when adolescents start dating. Relationship violence among teenagers exists and can include physical, sexual and emotional abuse. And, not all domestic partners can be or are married.
Jealousy is a sign of love.
When a person continually accuses their partner of flirting or having an affair, and is suspicious of everyone in their partner’s life, it is possessing and controlling behavior, not love.
When their partner hits someone, they must have provoked the behavior in some way.
No one deserves to be hit. Whether or not there may have seemed to be provocation, violence is always wrong. It never solves problems, although it often silences the victim.
People in abusive relationships stay because they enjoy being abused.
People who are abused by their dating or domestic partner do not stay in the relationship because they like being bullied. Most victims want to improve their relationship rather than end it. Violence is often cyclical in abusive relationships. Consequenily an apology and promise to end the behavior will often follow an episode of abuse which contributes to the attitude that the behavior may change. Unfortunately, without the will to change and the appropriate psychological assistance the abuse will not end. The victim may stay for practical or emotional reasons including love, fear of reprisal such as more injury or ultimately death, social isolation or shame.
"Name calling" doesn’t hurt anyone.
Emotional abuse is often considered harmless "name calling". But name calling hurts; that’s why people do it. Emotional abuse lowers the victim’s self-esteem, sometimes permanently. For many victims it is the most damaging aspect of abusive relationships.
I can tell if someone is going to be a “hitter” just by looking at the person.
Abusers come in all sizes and shapes. They are not the stereotypical muscle-bound men portrayed in the media. They are women and men; they are in the classroom, in the next dorm room, or a friend of a friend.
Dating or domestic violence will never happen to you
Dating violence can happen to you. It is not limited to a particular social class, or any single ethnic or racial group. Some people are victimized on their first date while others are assaulted after dating a long time.
A relationship is not abusive if there is no physical abuse.
Perpetrators of violence maintain control over the victim by using physical or sexual violence or by using emotional violence or the threat of physical or sexual violence. In some relationships, the threat of violence is enough to keep the abuser in control. The threat of violence and emotional violence can be just as hurtful or painful as physical violence.
CALCASA, “Campus Dating and Domestic Violence”, March 2003 Volume 4