Teen Dating Violence
| What is Dating Violence?
Dating violence is a pattern of controlling and abusive behaviors used to exert power over the other partner.
It can include physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, financial, or digital abuse.
Each year approximately 1 in 4 youths report verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. (Choose Respect's "Get the Facts: Dating Abuse Statistics")
Types of Abuse
More than 1 in 4 teenage girls in a relationship report enduring repeated verbal abuse. (www.loveisrespect.org)
- Physical - hitting, shoving, pushing, choking, pulling, twisting arm, or using a weapon
- Verbal - threats, insults, constant put-downs, yelling,
- Emotional - possessiveness, extreme jealousy, mean looks, ignoring, monitoring your actions, making you feel guilty
- Sexual - inappropriate touching, unwanted kissing, forcing to go further than they want
- Financial - using for money, always making you pay
- Digital - excessive texting or calling, sending or asking for inappropriate texts or pictures, demanding passwords,searching through call logs or texts for his/her own actions, problems, or feelings
Warning Signs of Dating Violence
1 in 4 teens in serious relationships have been prevented from spending time with friends or family or pressured to only spend time with their partner. (www.loveisrespect.org)
- Extreme jealousy or possessiveness
- Limits your time with friends and family
- Isolates you
- Controlling behavior
- Demands sex or affection
- Unpredictable mood swings
- Calls you hurtful or mean names
- Alcohol or drug use
- Abused former partners
- Slaps, pushes, or hits during an argument
- Threatens violence
- Does not take responsibility
Is Your Relationship Healthy Or Not?
Does your partner:
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, consider talking to an advocate by calling Golden House at 920-432-4244 or chatting live at www.loveisrespect.org
- Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
- Act jealous or possessive?
- Put you down or criticize you?
- Try to control where you go, what you wear or what you do?
- Text you excessively?
- Checks your social media site excessively?
- Asks for your passwords for social media, email, etc?
- Blame you for "making" them treat you badly?
- Threaten to kill or hurt you or themselves if you leave them?
- Try to stop you from seeing or talking to friends and family?
- Try to force or guilt you into sexual activity?
(adapted from www.loveisrespect.org)
You have the right to a safe and healthy relationship… free from violence and free from fear. (www.breakthecycle.org)
What To Do If Your Relationship Is Abusive
How to Help a Friend
- Know that it is not your fault
- Know that you cannot change your partner's behavior
- Tell a trusted adult like a parent, teacher, counselor
- Call Golden House at 920-432-4244 or Love Is Respect at 1-866-331-9474
- Do not meet your partner alone
- Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back
Watching a friend go through an abusive relationship can be scary. You may feel like you're not sure what to do to help. The decision to leave the abusive relationship can only be made by the person experiencing the abuse. There are still things you can do to help your friend stay safe. (adapted from www.loveisrespect.org)
- Tell your friend that you are concerned for their safety and want to help.
- Be supportive and listen patiently. Acknowledge their feelings and be respectful of their decisions.
- Help your friend recognize that they deserve a healthy relationship and that the abuse is not “normal.”
- Help your friend acknowledge that the abuse is NOT their fault.
- Focus on your friend, not the abusive partner.
- Respect your friend's descision, it's important they still feel comfortable talking to you especially if they stay in the relationship.
- Continue to be supportive if your friend decides to end the relationship.
- Help them develop a safety plan.
- Connect your friend to resources in the community like Golden House.
- Even when you feel like there’s nothing you can do, remember that being supportive and listening is a lot.
- Don’t contact their abuser or publicly post negative things about them online. It'll only worsen the situation.
Nationally, 1 in 3 teenagers report knowing a friend who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped, choked or physically hurt by their partner. (www.loveisrespect.org)
Healthy Relationships (adapted from National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
Healthy relationships should:
- Make you feel safe and comfortable
- Let you spend time with friends and family
- Respect your privacy and time alone
- Encourage expression of your own feelings
- Include laughing, playing and having fun with your partner
- Include each partner taking responsibility for own actions and happiness
- Allow you to say no to things you feel uncomfortable with