Teen Dating Violence
Signs that your date is abusive:
- Extreme jealousy
- Controlling behavior
- Explosive anger
- Isolates you from family and friends
- Uses force during an argument
- Verbally abusive
- Threatens you with violence
Early Warning Signs that your date may become abusive:
- Quick involvement
- Mood swings
- Alcohol and drug use
- Shows hypersensitivity
- Blames others for his problems or feelings
- Has abused former partners
One in three teenagers has experienced violence in a dating relationship.
Women ages 16 to 24 experience the highest per capita rates of intimate violence.
Forty percent of teenage girls ages 14 to 17 say they know someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.
Teen dating violence most often takes place in the home of one of the partners.
In 1995, 7 percent of all murder victims were young women who were killed by their boyfriends.
A survey of 500 young women, ages 15 to 24, found that 60 percent were currently involved in an ongoing abusive relationship and all participants had experienced violence in a dating relationship.
One study found that 38 percent of date rape victims were young women from 14 to 17 years of age.
A survey of adolescent and college students revealed that date rape accounted for 67 percent of sexual assaults.
In regard to Heather’s Law passed in 2010, we provide teen dating violence presentations for 9-12 grade high school students and college students.
Teen dating violence often is hidden because teenagers typically:
– Are inexperienced with dating relationships.
– Want independence from parents.
– Have romanticized views of love.
– Are pressured by peers to have dating relationships.
Teen dating violence is influenced by how teenagers look at themselves and others. Young men may believe:
– They have the right to “control” their female partners in any way necessary.
– “Masculinity” is physical aggressiveness.
– They “possess” their partner.
– They should and can demand intimacy.
– They may lose respect if they are attentive and supportive toward their girlfriends.
Young women may believe:
– They are responsible for solving problems in their relationships.
– Their boyfriend’s jealousy, possessiveness and even physical abuse is “romantic.”
– Abuse is “normal” because their friends are also being abused.
– They think they can “cure” the abusive boyfriend.
– There is no one to ask for help.
Common clues that indicate a teenager may be experiencing dating violence:
– Physical signs of injury.
– Truancy and/or dropping out of school.
– Failing grades.
– Changes in mood or personality.
– Use of drugs/alcohol — where there was no prior use.
– Emotional outburst.
– Isolation from friends and family.
If someone hurts you or makes you feel scared or bad in any way, it’s important to talk about it and tell someone what is happening. Tell your parents, a teacher or another adult you can trust. You can also call A Better Way 288-HELP for help.
Visit loveisrespect.org for more information on teen dating violence.