|February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month|
|Written by Submitted|
|Monday, February 13 2012 03:51|
Domestic violence is not a problem just for adults. Teens experience domestic violence in their relationships, too. In fact, domestic violence is very common in teen dating relationships. Here are some important facts:
Unhealthy relationship behaviors commonly begin early and lead to a lifetime of abuse. Every student, parent and teacher needs to be aware of the prevalence of teen dating violence in the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that one in eleven adolescents is a victim of physical dating violence.
The following ten facts are from Choose Respect's "Get the Facts: Dating Abuse Statistics" and "About Choose Respect: Dating Abuse Fact Sheet.”
Warning Signs a Teen is Being Abused
· Falling or failing grades;
· Increased instances of indecision, stops giving her own opinion;
· Changes in mood or personality;
· Use of drugs/alcohol, not just experimentation;
· Emotional outburst , not just mood swings;
· Will become isolated, insist on more privacy;
· Physical signs of injury, cuts, bruises, etc.;
· Makes excuses for the abusers behavior;
· Begins to put herself/himself down.
Although parents may not see many of these, here are the signs concerning the abuser:
· Is extremely jealous, hypersensitive and controlling;
· Verbally abusive and threatens violence;
· Has unpredictable mood swings, with instances of explosive anger;
· Uses drugs and alcohol, not just experimentation;
· Isolates their partner from friends and family;
· Uses force during an argument, physical and emotional;
· Believes in rigid sex roles and women are a possession;
· Blames others for his problems or feelings;
· Has a history of abusive relationships.
Keep your eyes and ears open when your teen is dating. Stay involved and most importantly be there when your teen wants to talk. These things will help you see the signs of dating violence, should you need to.
What can I do?
If you or someone you know is experiencing teen dating violence, consider these steps:
Teen Dating Bill of Rights
I have the right:
To always be treated with respect – In a respectful relationship, you should be treated as an equal.
To be in a healthy relationship – A healthy relationship is not controlling, manipulative, or jealous. A healthy relationship involves honesty, trust, and communication.
To not be hurt physically or emotionally – You should feel safe in your relationship at all times.
Abuse is never deserved and is never your fault – Conflicts should be resolved in a peaceful and rational way.
To refuse sex or affection at anytime – A healthy relationship involves making consensual sexual decisions.
You have the right to not have sex – Even if you have had sex before, you have the right to refuse sex for any reason.
To have friends and activities apart from my boyfriend or girlfriend – Spending time by yourself, with male or female friends, or with family is normal and healthy.
To end a relationship – You should not be harassed, threatened, or made to feel guilty for ending an unhealthy or healthy relationship. You have the right to end a relationship for any reason you choose.
I pledge to:
Always treat my boyfriend or girlfriend with respect.
Never hurt my boyfriend or girlfriend physically, verbally, or emotionally.
Respect my girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s decisions concerning sex and affection.
Not be controlling or manipulative in my relationship.
Accept responsibility for myself and my actions.
Copyright © 2007-2010 Love is respect – National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
For more information on Teen Dating Violence Awareness and how you can get involved, please visit:
AVA-CASA has trained community advocates available 24/7/365, all services are confidential. All advocates are mandatory reporters and required by law to report any knowledge or reasonable cause that a minor is being abused or neglected.