DATING VIOLENCE: SOME FACTS
- 1 in 5 teens who have been in a serious relationship report being hit, slapped or pushed by a partner.
- One-third of teen girls say they have been concerned about being physically hurt by their partner.
- In an abusive relationship, one person typically uses POWER and CONTROL to gain the upper hand physically, emotionally, and/or sexually over their partner.
- One-quarter of teens who have been in serious relationships say their boyfriend has tried to prevent them from spending time with friends or family.
- Nearly 1 in 4 girls who have been in a relationship (23%) reported going further sexually than they wanted as a result of pressure.
- Learning healthy relationship skills greatly reduces your risk of violence with other teens.
KNOW THE EARLY WARNING SIGNS
Not sure if you are in an unhealthy relationship? Take a step back and ask yourself: Does your boyfriend or girlfriend...
- Pressure you to make the relationship very serious or have sex early in the relationship?
- Act jealous or possessive?
- Try to control where you go, what you wear, or what you do?
- Text or IM you constantly?
- Refuse to consider your point of view or desires?
- Keep you from talking to or spending time with close friends or family?
- Drink too much or use drugs and then blame the alcohol and drugs for his/her behavior?
- Threaten to hurt you or themselves if you leave them?
If your boyfriend/girlfriend has said or done something that seemed like a red flag, it probably was. It could become, or may already be, abusive. Always remember: You have every right to say no! No boyfriend or girlfriend has the right to treat you with anything other than respect.
WATCH FOR FRIENDS WHO ARE BEING ABUSED
In some cases, teens feel more comfortable confiding in a friend than they would with a parent or other adult. However, it's not always easy for them to come to you. So if you suspect that they are in an abusive relationship, here are some things to consider. Does your friend...
- Constantly cancel plans for reasons that don't sound true?
- Always worry about making their boyfriend/girlfriend angry?
- Give up things that are important?
- Show signs of physical abuse, like bruises or cuts?
- Have a boyfriend/girlfriend that wants them to be available all the time?
- Become isolated from friends or family?
If you think a friend might be in an abusive relationship, try taking an indirect approach to help them open up. Here are some suggestions:
- "You don't seem as happy as usual -- are you okay?"
- "Is there anything you want to talk about?"
But if you think your friend is in serious danger, tell an adult you trust immediately. Do not try to handle the situation on your own.
For more information, check out the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline webpage at www.loveisrespect.org.
Also be sure to check out the rest of our What's Your Relationship Reality? section for information on healthy relationships.
ANOTHER GOOD RESOURCE
Another site on teen dating The Daddy found to be helpful was the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ACADA). In plain terms, it talks about how teen violence is often hidden, often has to do with the way teenagers see each other, how young boys may believe that they have the responsibility of controlling the relationship, early warning signs of abuse. There is plenty info for dealing with teen violence on this site: Check this one out.
Teenagers often experience violence in dating relationships. Statistics show that one in three teenagers has experienced violence in a dating relationship. In dating violence, one partner tries to maintain power and control over the other through abuse. Dating violence crosses all racial, economic and social lines. Most victims are young women, who are also at greater risk for serious injury. Young women need a dating safety plan.
This site also contains a "Bill of Rights" for teens:
|Dating Bill of Rights|
|I have a right to: |
Ask for a date
|I have the responsibility to: |
Determine my limits and values
Respect the limits of others
Communicate clearly and honestly
Not violate the limits of others
Ask for help when I need it
Check my actions and decisions to determine whether they are good or bad for me
Set high goals for myself
|From the Domestic Violence Advocacy Program of Family Resources, Inc.|