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HOME > Dating Violence & Teens

 
  Dating Violence & Teens  
     
  Dating Violence is defined as a pattern of physically, sexually, verbally, and/or emotionally abusive behavior or privacy intrusions in a dating relationship. Teen dating abuse takes many forms. It ranges from punching, slapping, pushing, and grabbing to rape and murder; from threats of violence, verbal attacks, and other forms of intimidation to extreme jealousy, possessiveness, and controlling behavior. Dating violence and abuse is intended to be isolating and controlling, taking different forms at different times and limited only by the energy and desperation of the abuser.

Teen dating violence and abuse does not discriminate. It affects young people of all races, religions, ages, sexual orientations, genders, and cultures. It affects all teens regardless of how much money they have or what neighborhood they live in. While the vast majority of abusers are male and most victims are female, females, too, can be abusers and males can be targets of dating abuse and violence.

There are many indicators that a teen may be involved in an abusive relationship:

  • Does the abuser try to control the victim?
    (what they wear, who they talk to, where they go)
  • Does the victim have unexplained physical injuries?
  • Does the abuser isolate the victim from friends and family?
  • Does the victim agree to do things just so the abuser wonít get angry?
  • Is the abuser overly jealous when the victim talks to anyone else?
  • A decline in grades at school, use of alcohol and drugs, changes in activities
    and friends
  • Does the abuser check up on the victim obsessively?
    (Phone calls, text messages, driving by)
  • Does the abuser make threats to the victim?

Parents and friends can look for changes in the teenís mood or personality, signs of depression and sadness, or constant worrying about what the partner will think.

What can parents or trusted adults do to help?

  • Educate yourself about dating violence
  • Talk with your teenager
  • Let your children know about the prevalence of dating violence
  • Make sure they know they can call for a ride home without recrimination if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation
  • Make sure you know where your teen is going, who their friends are, and cell phone numbers of friends and parents
  • Seek help from professionals

The statistics are alarming

  • Thirty-three percent of female teens in dating relationships have feared for their safety
  • Twenty-five percent of female teens report having been pressured to go further sexually than they wanted
  • Twenty percent of female teens in a relationship say they have been hit or beaten by a boyfriend
  • Forty percent say they know someone their own age who has been physically abused by a boyfriend
  • Sixty-six percent of teens tell no one about abuse in their relationships

Be safe when you date

  • If youíre going out with someone new, consider a double date
  • Know what your plans will be for the evening. Tell your parents or friends where you will be
  • Know that the use of alcohol or drugs can impair your ability to make good decisions
  • If you leave a party with someone you donít know well, tell a friend
  • Be firm and straightforward in your boundaries and relationships; if something makes you uncomfortable, think of a way to remove yourself from the situation
  • Trust your instincts

For more information about teen dating violence, visit:

www.loveisrespect.org
www.loveisnotabuse.com
www.breakthecycle.org

National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline: 1-866-331-9474

 
     
Download a brochure about Dating Violence & Teens
     


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