“Teen Dating Violence: What do we really know?”
As we look at the cute couples in High School you would never think that 1 and 5 teens that have been in a serious relationship report being hit, slapped or pushed by a partner. This is a subject that we don’t talk about over coffee or on lunch break. Most of all this wouldn’t be a subject an abused teen would speak with their parents about. 1 in 3 girls who have been in a serious relationship say they’ve been concerned about being physically hurt by their partner. To change these astounding numbers we have to speak up and speak out about Teen Dating Violence. No matter what parents of the victims have to be supportive no matter the frustrations. Here are some of the signs to look for:
- Falling or failing grades
- Increased instances of indecision, stops giving her own opinion
- Changes in mood or personality
- Use of drugs/alcohol, not just experimentation
- Emotional outburst, not just mood swings
- Will become isolated, insist on more privacy
- Physical signs of injury cuts, bruises, etc.
- Makes excuses for the abusers behavior
- Begins to put herself/himself down.
SIGNS OF ABUSE FROM THE ABUSER
- Is extremely jealous, hypersensitive and controlling
- Verbally abusive and threatens violence
- Has unpredictable mood swings, with instances of explosive anger
- Uses drugs and alcohol not just experimentation
- Isolates their partner from friends and family
- Uses force during an argument, physical and emotional
- Believes in rigid sex roles women are a possession
- Blames others for his problems or feelings
- Has a history of abusive relationships.
Stay open with your teen and be honest about Teen Dating Violence. Be Honest about how common it really is and keep the lines of communication open with who they are dating. Always remember you are not your child’s best friend you are their parent. Support and understanding is the biggest thing that you can give your child with dating and teen dating violence. Speak up and Speak out against violence and you can involve your teen too in this process. Getting your child involved will also teach him or her that it isn’t the right relationship to be a part of. These tools should help keep you more educated and your teen safer. Remember there is NO EXCUSE FOR ABUSE.