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. Teenagers need a dating safety plan.
Teen dating violence often is hidden because teenagers typically:
are inexperienced with dating relationships.
are pressured by peers to act violently.
want independence from parents.
have "romantic" views of love.
Teen dating violence is influenced by how teenagers look at themselves and others.
Young men or women may believe:
they have the right to "control" their female or male partners in any way necessary.
"masculinity" is physical aggressiveness
they "possess" their partner.
they should 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.
there is no one to ask for help.
Teenagers can choose better relationships when they learn to identify the early warning signs of an abusive relationship, understand that they have choices, and believe they are valuable people who deserve to be treated with respect.
Early warning signs that your date may eventually become abusive:
Unpredictable mood swings
Alcohol and drug use
Isolates you from friends and family
Uses force during an argument