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10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Dating Abuse

  1. Practice and model respectful, non-violent behavior and healthy problem solving in your relationships
  2. Educate yourself and others about dating abuse: call your local domestic violence agency and ask for materials and workshops for your school, classroom, organization, religious congregation etc. (call 1-800-799-SAFE for the number of a domestic violence agency in your community)
  3. Listen to and believe victims/survivors of dating abuse
  4. Provide nonjudgmental support and options for victims/survivors of dating abuse (dating/domestic abuse can be dangerous—encourage victims/survivors to call 911 in emergencies, help them come up with a plan for safety and encourage them to call a domestic violence agency for support and services)
  5. Hold abusers accountable for their abusive behavior in safe and non-blaming ways (focus on the behavior, not the person)
  6. Speak out against victim-blaming attitudes and myths about dating/domestic abuse (for example, you can challenge the attitude, “why doesn’t she just leave?”” by explaining that leaving can be the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship)
  7. Challenge gender rules that normalize violence against heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer women and men (speak out against sexist and homophobic jokes, attitudes, behavior etc. and help create inclusive, safe spaces for everyone)
  8. Challenge abuse/oppression in all its forms (racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, ableism, xenophobia, adultism, ageism)
  9. Find out what your school, congregation or neighborhood is doing to prevent dating abuse (for example, ask your teachers, counselors and administrators to adopt school policies and training to protect victims/survivors of dating abuse, sexual harassment and homophobia, racism)
  10. Volunteer and raise funds for your local domestic violence agency