Legal definition of dating violence

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It is difficult to say exactly how frequently dating violence occurs because different studies and surveys ask about it in different ways and get very different results.

Some studies only ask about physical abuse, while others include questions about psychological and emotional abuse and sexual violence.

Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.

Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual's sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive.

Psychological Abuse: Elements of psychological abuse include - but are not limited to - causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner's family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender.

Their toll-free number is 1-800-838-8238; phone lines are open 24 hours and calls are free and confidential.

If you believe your friend is in serious danger, talk with an adult you trust immediately about your friend’s situation so that you aren’t carrying the burden by yourself.

Do not try to rescue your friend or be a hero and try to handle the situation on your own. The Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance (VSDVAA) can provide valuable information and assistance in finding individuals and groups who can help.

It frequently involves one partner humiliating, insulting, or swearing at the other.

Other examples include: attempting to control a partner’s activities, trying to destroy his or her self-confidence and self-esteem, and isolating the person from other friends and family.

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