About teen dating violence

While it may seem easier to let your teen shake you loose, hang on. Right now, your teen is forming relationships that set the stage for future relationships.Given that 1 in 5 high schoolers experience dating violence, you’ll want to be sure you do your part to help your child understand what a healthy relationship feels and looks like.Let him or her know when you truly care for someone you don’t hurt them or try to control them.Dating violence is controlling, abusive, and aggressive behavior in a romantic relationship. It can include verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, or a combination.

One winter day during my junior year, I found out that he had cheated on me again. He became enraged as I walked away to my class but he didn't follow me. In that moment, I had two choices: I could either sit there and continue to be belittled in front of everyone because he wasn't going to leave, and nobody else was going to say or do anything, or I could walk out and be shamed anyway because I had given into his threats. As we walked down the hall, he spit in my face, pulled my necklace off my neck, threw it in the trashcan and he threw me up against the lockers. Mine is a story of emotional, psychological, and physical abuse.

60% say that psychological abuse has occurred in their relationships.

According to teens themselves in a 2009 survey: How do you know what to do when someone confides in you?

Teen dating violence can be prevented, especially when there is a focus on reducing risk factors as well as fostering protective factors, and when teens are empowered through family, friends, and others (including role models such as teachers, coaches, mentors, and youth group leaders) to lead healthy lives and establish healthy relationships.

It is important to create spaces, such as school communities, where the behavioral norms are not tolerant of abuse in dating relationships.

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