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Teen Dating Violence Awareness

February is teen dating violence awareness month. Teen dating violence includes physical, psychological, or sexual abuse; harassment; or stalking of any person ages 12 to 18 in the context of a past or present romantic or consensual relationship. Dating violence is not limited to physical harm and injury, it can also take place in the form of bullying, belittling, performing sexual acts without consent, and either physically following a partner or monitoring their social media. Dating violence does not always occur in person, the digital age has created an environment where abuse can now take place online. Dating violence amongst teens is incredibly common. According to a study conducted by the CDC in 2019, 1 in 12 high school students experience physical dating violence. Similarly, 1 in 12 experience sexual dating violence. Teen dating violence has lasting effects and increases the likelihood that one will be in an unhealthy relationship later on, further perpetuating the gruesome statistics. As of 2010, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the US, reported that they had experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.


Given the proneness, It’s important to be aware of and actively looking for signs of abusive and unhealthy relationships. Identifying the signs of unhealthy relationships can help those involved seek help before it develops into a physically or sexually abusive relationship.

Unhealthy relationships can look a multitude of different ways, and at times it can be difficult to discern when there is a shift from unhealthy to abusive. The following are ten of the most common indications of abusive relationships.


1) Checking your phone and monitoring your social media accounts without your permission


2) Isolating you from your family and friends and creating a dependence on them


3) Severe jealousy or insecurity


4) Extreme temper


5) Possessiveness with a need for control and power


6) False accusations


7) Insults and criticism, particularly in the presence of others


8) Abrupt mood swings


9) Controlling behaviors such as telling you what to do, wear, and who you can or can not associate with


10) Physical violence of any kind, threats of violence, or fear that your partner will become violent if angered

 

On the other hand, healthy relationships are characterized by mutual trust and respect, clear communication, and compromise. In a healthy relationship there shouldn’t be an imbalanced power dynamic. Supporting healthy relationships is essential to reducing teen dating violence, as teens need to be exposed to good examples as they are developing communication skills and learning how to maintain relationships.


If you or someone that you know is experiencing an unhealthy or abusive relationship, there are resources available. For more information about unhealthy relationships, you can call the teen dating violence hotline at 1.866.331.9474, or visit loveisrespect.org.


References Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, January 27). Fast facts: Preventing teen dating violence. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved February 21, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/teendating violence/fastfact.html Domestic Violence Statistics. The Hotline. (2022, December 29). Retrieved February 21, 2023, from https://www.thehotline.org/stakeholders/domestic-violence-statistics/ Get Relationship Help. love is respect. (2023, January 2). Retrieved February 21, 2023, from https://www.loveisrespect.org/get-relationship-help/ Recognizing the signs of unhealthy relationships. Mass.gov. (n.d.). Retrieved February 21, 2023, from https://www.mass.gov/service-details/recognizing-the-signs-of-unhealthyrelationships Teen dating violence awareness and prevention month. Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month | Youth.gov. (n.d.). Retrieved February 21, 2023, from https://youth.gov/feature-article/teen-dating-violence-awareness-and-prevention-month Teen dating violence. National Institute of Justice. (n.d.). Retrieved February 21, 2023, from https://nij.ojp.gov/topics/crimes/teen-dating-violence Warning signs. Warning Signs | Break the Cycle. (n.d.). Retrieved February 21, 2023, from https://www.breakthecycle.org/dating-violence-warning-signs/

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