Health and Wellness: No, that’s not okay

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Health Department
Special to Dallas County News and Perry Chief

No one deserves to be abused in any way, and every type of abuse is serious. 

People often think of physical violence when they hear “abuse,” but it can take other forms. Dating abuse is a pattern of behaviors used to gain or maintain power and control over a partner, and physical violence is just one example. 

What does this power grab look like in a dating relationship? Checking your phone, email or social media accounts without your permission. Extreme jealousy, isolating you from friends and family, questioning who you were with and what you talked about. Pressuring you or forcing you to have sex or taking photos that you wouldn’t want others to see. Unfortunately, abusers will escalate their behaviors. 

The website Love is Respect tells about personal safety and how to support friends who are in sketchy relationships. The website allows you to quickly exit the screen in case you don’t want someone to know you were there.

Even if you can’t or don’t yet want to leave your partner, your first priority should be your safety. Call Crisis Intervention & Advocacy (800-400-4884) or the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233), or go to a hospital emergency department for help.