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Dating violence

Dating violence is any form of mental, physical, or sexual violence between people in a relationship who do not live together. It can also be violence that occurs between people who have just met, for example, at a party, outdoors, etc.

Many acts of violence remain hidden because people are afraid to report them due to shame or fear. Also, people are often afraid of not being believed. But violence does not disappear. Violence tends to recur and become dangerous or even life-threatening.

What are the signs of dating violence?
  • He behaves unpleasantly and justifies it with love for you. Later, he apologizes, brings flowers, and expresses his love. He promises it will never happen again, yet it happens again. He convinces you that everything was your fault or blames everyone else.
  • He is jealous and does not want you to spend time with friends or family. He controls everything - where you go, what you do, who you are with, and what you wear. He stalks you. He doesn't want you to go out, answer calls, or chat with anyone. He knows or wants to know your email and social media passwords. He claims that he wants to be with you every second. He may threaten to kill himself.
  • He is violent, shouts at you, insults you, hits you, mocks or humiliates you. He does not consider your opinion or feelings. Only he is right, and he will not accept if you tell him no. He may spread rumors about you. He throws and breaks things. He threatens you: "If you don't do as I say, then…" You are afraid of him.
  • An abusive dating partner may involve you in illegal activities, such as offering you alcohol or drugs or using them with you when you are still underage. Then he can commit a crime against you and later scare you that if you turn to the police, it is you who will be punished instead. This is not true!
What to do if you think your partner is violent?
  • Tell your best friend or someone you trust a lot about your worries.
  • Seek help from organizations or associations that can help you, such as the police at 112, the victim helpline at 116 006, women's support centers, and the perpetrators' support line at 6 606 077.
  • If you decide to leave your partner, think carefully about each step - what will you do the next time they call you, you get together, they show up at your door, etc? If possible, express yourself concretely and refrain from lengthy explanations. If your partner continues to contact you in a disturbing way, inform them again in writing that you do not want to communicate with them. If the harassment continues, you can always contact the police and file a report of harassing stalking.
  • Consider that the abuser can do everything to win you back. However, this does not mean that the violence will disappear - later, everything will happen again, and the violence will only get bigger.

Don't think everything is your fault. The abuser is responsible for their own behavior. You cannot change them, and only a specialist and the abuser themselves can help the abuser.

How do you help if you think your friend is suffering from dating violence?

LISTEN. If a friend tells you about their relationship, listen carefully. This way, you can find out if and how their relationship works and how it affects your friend. Believe your friends, don't blame them or judge them.

SHOW YOU CARE. If you have the feeling that something is wrong in your friend's relationship, tell your friend about it - that way, you care about your friend's life, health, and future.

SUPPORT. Be supportive of your friends and help them seek help if necessary. Ask how you can help them. Try to stay by your friend's side even if they say they don't want your help. Avoid taking offense when rebuffed.

ENCOURAGE. Have the courage to seek help when your friend is depressed and sad. Contact their parents, a psychologist, or a support association.

SEEK HELP. Talk to someone you trust about your doubts about your friend's relationship. Seek help from associations that can help you or your friend.

Find help!

Victim support crisis helpline 116 006. Our specialists listen to you calmly and provide support and advice on topics related to violence. Calling is free, and help is guaranteed 24/7 in Estonian, Russian, and English. You can remain anonymous if you wish. If you can't call or don't want to talk on the phone, you can also go to for help and start an online chat. If someone’s life or health is in danger, call 112.


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