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Myths and Attitudes About Dating Relationships

The following statements were made by a group of young males and females:

  1. "A guy needs to be in control of the relationship."
  2. "A girl is to blame when the guy hits her."
  3. "It's understandable to hit her; maybe next time she'll learn not to make me angry."
  4. "I love him. I'm the only one who can help him."
  5. "Some girls ask for it; that's why they stay."
  6. "I shouldn't have nagged him. It was my fault he got angry."
  7. "When a guy gets angry he can't help it. He's uncontrollable."
  8. "I was drunk. I didn't know what I was doing."
  9. "Only minorities or poor girls get abused."
  10. "She hit me first and I hit her back. Everybody does it sometimes."
  11. "If she really loved him she could make him change."
  12. "If I could figure out what sets him off and not do it, maybe he could stop."
  13. "Guys who abuse are mentally ill."

All of these statements are excuses. Remember - THERE'S NO EXCUSE FOR ABUSE!

Your Rights in a Dating Relationship

You have the right to:

  • Express your opinions and have them be respected.
  • Have your needs be as important as your partner's needs.
  • Grow as an individual in your own way.
  • Change your mind.
  • Not take responsibility for your partner's behavior.
  • Not be physically, sexually, or emotionally abused.
  • Fall out of love and break up with someone and not be threatened.


ARE YOU ABUSIVE? Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you constantly check up on your partner and accuse her or him of being with other people?
  2. Are you extremely jealous or possessive?
  3. Have you hit, kicked, shoved, or thrown things at your partner?
  4. Do you constantly insult or criticize your partner?
  5. Do you become violent when you drink or use drugs?
  6. Have you threatened your partner or broken things in your partner's presence?
  7. Have you forced your partner to have sex with you or intimidated your partner so that he or she is afraid to say no?
  8. Have you threatened to hurt your partner?
  9. Have you threatened to hurt yourself if your partner breaks up with you?

If one or more of the above questions applies to your behavior, realize that you are inflicting physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse on your partner. If you can recognize that what you are doing is wrong, then:

  • You do have to take responsibility for your actions.
  • You can't blame your behavior on your partner or drugs or alcohol.
  • You can change the way you act if you get supportive counseling.
  • You can call a crisis hotline for the number of a batterer's program or go to the counseling center at your school.
  • Unless you do something about it, it's going to get worse, and your violence will increase.
  • You might be breaking the law with your abusive behavior.

Get help. Don't try to do it alone!


ARE YOU BEING ABUSED? Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are you frightened by your partner's temper?
  2. Are you afraid to disagree with your partner?
  3. Are you constantly apologizing for your partner's behavior, especially when he or she has treated you badly?
  4. Do you have to justify every place you go, everything you do, or every person you see just to avoid your partner's anger?
  5. Does your partner constantly put you down and then tell you that he or she loves you?
  6. Have you ever been hit, kicked, shoved, or had things thrown at you?
  7. Do you not see family or friends or do things just because of your partner's jealousy?
  8. Have you been forced into having sex when you didn't want to?
  9. Are you afraid to break up because your partner has threatened to hurt you or himself/herself.

If one or more of the above questions applies to your relationship, you are being abused and you can make choices. You can:

  • End the relationship and choose not to see your partner.
  • Get help from someone you trust, preferably an adult.
  • Go to your counseling center at school.
  • Call (800) 572-SAFE (7233) for referral to a local support program in your area.

Get help. Don't try to do it alone!

This information was adapted from the video Dating Violence., The Hidden Secret ã Taylor/Zitner & Intermedia by:

NJ Department of Community Affairs, Division on Women
Office on the Prevention of Violence Against Women
101 S. Broad Street, CN 801
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0801

For further information on the video and its accompanying study guide, contact:

Intermedia, Inc.
1300 Dexter Avenue North, Suite 260
Seattle, Washington 98109