Safe dating information is essential for teenagers and adults.The report “Rape and Relationship Violence” published by North Carolina State University states that 57 percent of rapes happen on dates and one out of five college women will have a direct personal experience with relationship violence.The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that one in 11 teens has been the victim of physical dating violence.
According to the report “Safe Dating,” published by the North Carolina State University, safe dating is keeping a date a positive experience. To prevent putting yourself in danger when dating avoid using alcohol or drugs and be assertive when stating your limits--"I do not like to be kissed on the first date." Communicating your desires, going out in groups and respecting the other person’s wishes may help to provide safe dating.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dating violence is intimate partner aggression that happens between two persons. Dating violence can be physical (pinching, hitting), emotional (teasing, name calling) or sexual (forcing a partner to have sex). Dating violence usually starts with teasing, but later escalates.
Internet Safe Dating
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs website explains that when you date a person you met online, you must be aware of privacy violations (he or she already knows where you live) and harassment (frequent offensive emails). Get a picture, a phone number, assert your boundaries ("I will not drink.") and tell a friend where you will be. In a dangerous situation, try to negotiate; for example, asking to go to a different place might give you time to escape.
Teen Safe Date Program at Schools
The National Conference of State Legislatures contends that legislatures can make a difference in preventing teen-dating violence; at least seven states have adopted laws that require schools to develop curriculum on safe dating. The “Rape and Relationship Violence” report published by the North Carolina State University indicates that schools are teaching "Safe Date" programs to change social norms and help teenagers solve conflicts.
Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, in a report, "Dating Violence," lists and explains characteristics of a safe relationship such as: partnership, decisions are made jointly; economic equality, equal decisions over work and money; emotional honesty; admitting and sharing feelings; sexual respect, waiting for consent; physical safety; no physical force; support and trust, listening; and respect, supporting each other’s goals.
- North Carolina State University-Health Promotion: Safe Dating
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Understanding Teen Dating Violence
- North Carolina State University-Health Promotion: Rape and Relationship Violence
- National Conference of State Legislature: Teen Dating Violence
- National Coalition of Antiviolence Programs: General and Internet Safe Dating Tips