Dating should give you a good feeling, an excitement of romance and butterflies in the stomach. If not that it should at least give you comfort and support. But instead, if all you feel is some kind of dread, then there could be something amiss. It could be that the person you are dating is using you sexually or more accurately abusing you. If the case becomes serious you may need a private investigator to get proof for a police case. You need to learn to avoid sexual abuse or if it has happened you need to report it.
Sexual abuse in dating
Sexual abuse is more common than you think. It could be a single date or over multiple dates. But just because so many aren’t reported, doesn’t mean that they didn’t happen. If you have heard of date rape drugs, then you may have possibly heard of date rapes too. They can also be classified as a type of sexual abuse. In dating, sometimes the victim isn’t aware that they are being abused. This is because the mindset is that when dating you should allow the other person to have sex with you. But forced sex is rape or abuse. Sexual abuse can include the following:
- Forcing you to have sex
- Unwanted kissing and touching
- Stopping you from using birth control
- Forcing other sexual acts
Preventing sexual abuse
Preventing sexual abuse in dating also means understanding dating violence. Here are the ways you can prevent sexual abuse or avoid it if you are dating someone. Here are the steps you can take to avoid it.
- Educating oneself and making others around you aware of it is important.
- Sexual abuse and dating violence is a lot about control and power and recognising it for what it is, is the first step.
- Define and make clear what you want in a relationship. Don’t accept such treatment from your date or partner just because “it’s sex”.
- Understand and realise that you have a right to end the relationship if it is abusive. You don’t have to stay in it.
- Report the abuse. If you think you need evidence to report it, then contact a private investigator, get evidence and report it.
Other steps you can take on the spot to avoid an assault are:
- If the situation is getting to a point where there could be a potential for assault, then create a distraction. Talk about food you are going to order or the show on TV. Start a game that attracts the attention of others so the perpetrator thinks twice about harming you. A distraction can give you the necessary time to get away.
- You can call 911 if you are afraid for your safety or talk to the security if you are out at a restaurant or a mall.
- If possible, then do learn some self-defence skills to protect yourself when necessary. You don’t have to be a champ at kravmaga, just basic moves to protect and run.
- One of the simplest but critical things you can do is to be aware. Be cautious and aware when you are out on a date or at your date’s house. Instinct can tell you a lot more than words and actions. Most survivors have said that they got uncomfortable with some of their actions like long staring, degrading language, refusal to accept “no” and the like. Look out for these warning signs.
- Avoid secluded places as these could mean you would be vulnerable.
- Understand the dynamic of power and money. Some people feel entitled to sex just because they are rich and powerful.
The most important thing to avoid sexual abuse is to be aware, trust instincts and do report the assault. The perpetrator must not feel that he got away with it or worse, he didn’t do anything wrong.