Dating abuse can happen to anyone. So, what is it?
Dating abuse is a pattern of assaultive and controlling behaviors that one person intentionally uses against another in order to gain or maintain power and control in the relationship [source].
Forms of abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional and psychological. It’s common in both teens and adults and it affects all genders, sexual identities, social and economic backgrounds, faith communities, races and cultures.
At Planned Parenthood of Delaware, we provide screenings for dating abuse in a safe and confidential setting during appointments. By educating about dating abuse and advocating against it, we are working to ensure that people are able to lead full and healthy lives, free from discrimination and violence while removing the shame and guilt that can accompany experiencing it.
Here are some ways dating abuse can manifest:
“At Planned Parenthood, we see firsthand the horrific impact that intimate partner violence and restrictions to abortion access can have on women’s health and lives — and we work every day to combat them both,” said Cecile Richards, former president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (2006-2018).
If you or someone you know is experiencing intimate partner violence, in addition to your local Planned Parenthood health center, you can contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline for trusted, anonymous online and phone advice – 800.799.SAFE (7233). If you want to end an abusive relationship, they can also help you develop a safety plan.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month and STI Awareness Month.