One in three people will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship, the term “dating violence” often reminds many of physical abuse, but that is not the only type of dating violence that people experience.
Dating violence could be emotional abuse, digital abuse or sexual abuse. If you are unaware of whether or not something is abuse of any kind, there are hotlines available for support and clarity.
Some examples of emotional abuse include:
- Your significant other telling you what you can or cannot wear
- Your significant other deciding who you can and cannot be friends with
- Preventing you from seeing or talking to family members
- Starting rumors about you
Gaslighting is manipulative and a form of emotional abuse. Gaslighting techniques include your partner saying things like, “You are wrong, you never remember anything,” “You are too sensitive,” or even a phrase similar to “Is that another crazy idea you got from [friend or family member]?”
Signs of being a victim of gaslighting include:
- Asking yourself if you are too sensitive consistently throughout the day
- Feeling as though you are not good enough or worthy enough to be with your partner
- Hiding things from your family in order to avoid explaining yourself
- Apologizing to your partner repeatedly
- You feel as though you can’t do anything right
- Beginning to feel like you used to be a different person (happier, more confident, more relaxed)
- You feel helpless in your relationship
Often times emotional abuse can become so severe that you begin to believe what it is your partner is saying about you. It is important to recognize these signs and to never blame yourself for your partner’s behavior. Letting the relationship continue in an emotional abuse can lead to physical abuse later on in the relationship.
If you are thinking that this does not affect you now or that it never will, one in three young adults will be in an unhealthy relationship. So, if it will not affect you, it may affect your best friend. It may affect a stranger and it is still important for you to help them if at all possible. An anonymous help hotline is1-866-331-9474.