Dating Violence

Sigmund Freud, an early Austrian psychologist, is famous for his fundamental contributions to research in psychology. The greatest contribution of Sigmund Freud is considered to be the so called psychoanalysis. This method of research was based on case studies through recording and study of the mental problems of his patients. After having thoroughly studied hundreds of such cases, Sigmund Freud arrived to a conclusion that many of the psychological problems of adults are triggered by some unpleasant events that occurred during their childhood or youth. Such violent acts as rape, physical abuse, or verbal offences, when encountered by an adolescent, may irreparably damage his or her further life as an adult.

Even though contemporary psychologists disagree with Freud on many occasions and challenge assumptions used in his research, the fact that early occurrences of violence in one’s life can irreparably damage ones psychological well being is generally considered to be true. It is also generally believed that personality of a child forms by the time he or she reaches the age of 20 or so. Therefore, any psychological damage done before that age or shortly after would be hard to fix.
A person usually starts to date at a relatively young age. Because dating and relationships as a whole frequently involve intense emotions, dissatisfaction with a partner is likely to cause the so called dating violence. Dating violence, defined as the perpetration or threat of an act of violence by at least one member of an unmarried couple on the other member within the context of dating or courtship, is an extremely unpleasant occurrence. Therefore, it can have a negative influence on one’s life. This problem is especially apparent in the light of its scope. A review of dating violence research found that prevalence rates of nonsexual, courtship violence range from 9% to 65%, depending on whether threats and emotional or verbal aggression were included in the definition.

It is extremely important to detect early signs of a dating violence and detect characteristics of the potential victim or the hypothetical perpetrator. But the detection and recognition cannot be viewed as sufficient tools for dealing with the problem. Nowadays psychologists are faced with the problem of developing adequate procedures for preventing occurrences of dating violence. Many of the attempts to develop such procedures were quite successful. But it is not sufficient to simply develop such procedures. The main purpose of the research on dating violence should be distributing the results of this research, so that people can use these metrologies for dealing with the dating violence.

Fortunately, over the last few years the World Wide Web became an important tribune for researches who want the results of their research to reach every potential victim of dating violence. As a result, there are quite a few good web sites related to the problem of dating violence. Majority of these web sites are created and maintained by nonprofit organizations, interested in preventing various negative occurrences within the society.
Among the best web sites related to the issue of dating violence are the following: “Teen Dating Violence” web site of The Houston Area Women’s Center, “Dating Violence and Acquaintance Assault” web site by Herbert G. Lingren, and “Dating Violence” web site by ACADV.
“Teen Dating Violence” web site was developed by The Houston Area Women’s Center. The web site contains several sections and is quite informative. The first section of the web site, “get the facts”, introduces useful statistics that can be used in outlining the scope of the problem. According to the research done by The Houston Area Women’s Center, between 25% and 40% of teens have been assaulted by dates. The “get the facts” section is also useful in terms of defining what are the most common assaults on a date. According the their research, about 80% of the assaults include pushing, shoving, slapping, and grabbing. Another important finding is that 71% percent of all dating assaults are previously planned. This proves the idea that early signs of dating violence can be detected.
The second section of the web site answers some of the most frequently asked questions about sexual harassment and dating violence. It is interesting that the web site says that sexual harassment is frequently what is perceived to be sexual harassment by the offended side. Indeed, some people may not consider grabbing as an assault, while others can consider it as an assault. Therefore, it can be inferred that making it clear what one considers to be dating violence is a useful tool for preventing such acts.

The “Date Rape Drug Warning” section of the web site lists some of the most common substances used to intoxicate a date for the purpose of raping him or her. Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine are the most common substances. The web site mentions some of the symptoms manifested by an intoxicated person. The web site also gives some useful suggestions on how to avoid being deliberately intoxicated and, consequently, raped.

The last two sections of the web site, “Where to Go for Help” and “More Information” provides additional information on how to cope with the problem of dating violence. The first web site lists places where a person can get help if he or she has been assaulted and the second section provides links to additional Internet resources.

The second web site, “Dating Violence and Acquaintance Assault” has four sections. The first section, “Recognizing A Potential Abuser in a Dating Relationship” teaches readers how to recognize a potential perpetrator. The second section, titled “If You Have Been a Victim”, lists some steps to cope with the problem, telling someone about the abuse, going to a hospital, reporting the assault, seeking counseling, confronting assailant, trying the civil court, and remembering that the victim is not alone. The “What You Can Do” section gives several recommendations for preventing dating violence. The last section, “References”, lists some useful resources for further research on this issue.

The third web site, “Dating Violence”, provides a lot of useful information on dating violence in a concise manner. First of all, the web site outlines what is called “Dating Bill of Rights”. Clear understanding of these rights might enable a potential victim of dating violence to resist possible assaults from a partner. The web site also explains why teen dating violence is frequently hidden. According to this resource, dating violence is frequently hidden because teenagers are inexperienced with dating relationships, pressured by peers to act violently, want independence from parents, and have “romantic” views of love. The web site also mentions some warning signs that can predict a possible assault. Common clues that indicate a teenager may be experiencing dating violence enables readers to understand this problem more fully. The web site’s content ends by giving a toll free number that can be used by victims of an assault, giving some suggestions on dating safety, and providing teen dating statistics.
The mentioned above web sites are somewhat different in terms of the information they provide. However, all of the web sites similar in terms of providing suggestions on how to identify a potentially dangerous partner and giving some clues for identifying a hypothetical victim of dating violence.
First of all, jealous, possessive, and bossy attitude of a partner is a sure sign that he or she is a potential perpetrator. Indeed, the mentioned above attitudes might prevent one from barking up with the partner easily. The “dumped” partner will probably use every kind of pressure to force you to come back, including the physical one.
Secondly, a potential perpetrator is likely to have a long history of previous unsuccessful relationships. This sign is especially dangerous when combined with such negatives occurrences as bragging about mistreating others, alcohol and drug usage, and overall violent behavior. These facts are probably a proof that the person has previously abused his or her partner.

Another important characteristic of a potential perpetrator is verbally or physically abusive behavior. Even if these characteristics are not manifested clearly and the partner says that “it’s just a joke”, they may develop into really abusive behavior over a short period of time.

Finally, a potential perpetrator is usually obsessed with sex. He or she becomes angry when his or her partner does not want to have sex. The potential perpetrator can also attempt to force his or her partner to perform sexual acts the partner does not want to.
Statistical data show that the ones who should watch out for these signs the most are women. Studies have found that women and girls were victims of dating violence twice as often as men and boys. Also, females suffer significantly more injuries than males.

It is clear that dating violence is a serious problem faced by our society. Occurrence of dating violence can irreparably damage one’s emotional stability and have a profound impact on the victim’s further life. Of course, it is impossible not to date someone. Men and women are attracted to each other and without dating life would seem miserable. Therefore, the best way to deal with the problem is to clearly understand what dating violence is and know all the warning signs that indicate that one’s partner is a possible perpetrator. Fortunately, World Wide Web contains a lot of resources developed by various social groups foe educating people about the problem and teaching them how to deal with it.