Something to RememberBoth boys and girls suffer from teenage dating violence, and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) teenage couples are just as prone, as straight teenage couples, to face dating violence.
Teenage dating is always special, and for many, it is the first time they actually start dating. Dating also brings in a lot of emotions in life, like excitement, passion, love, missing the significant other, waiting for that one call or text for hours. However, there is also a dark phase that opens up sometimes in relationships. In this phase, one person may hurt, scare, or demean the person he/she is dating on a frequent basis. This change makes a healthy relationship into an unhealthy one, and this negative behavior is called teenage dating violence.
The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline defines teenage dating violence as a behavioral pattern that an individual uses to gain control on his/her dating partner. This type of violence can happen to people of all races. It can also occur on the first or second date or in a long-term relationship, and it isn't always about getting physically aggressive. Emotional dating violence may also include controlling the partner by putting a watch on his/her movements, limiting his/her activities, and setting deadlines. Sometimes, an abuser may even use technology as a means to control or demean his/her partner. Teenage dating violence also includes sexual violence which includes any forced or unwanted sexual contact.
Anyone can suffer from dating violence, and it is illegal for someone to hit the other person. In most cases, the victim blames himself/herself for the mistreatment he/she gets, which is not right. Physical and emotional abuse gradually develops in a relationship, and most teens want to remain oblivious to the fact that their partner is abusing them. Let's get a broader perspective on this topic, by learning some teenage dating abuse facts.
Most parents might find this unbelievable, but almost 72% of eighth and ninth graders are dating. Psychologists believe that it isn't the need of having a partner, but it is the trend of having one that forces teenagers to date. Having a date means being cool. Also, violent behavior in teenagers usually begins when they are about 12 or 15, and if this behavior is not discouraged on time, it becomes a habit.
Lack of awareness about the law and the desire of confidentiality are also major contributors of the rising cases of teenage dating violence. As teenagers are still not emotionally mature, all this chaos can have a profound negative impact on their health. Teens who have suffered dating violence tend to do poor in school, as they are too traumatized or depressed about the whole situation. They are at a high risk of abusing drugs and alcohol, and some might even develop eating disorders, or try to attempt suicide.
It is extremely important to educate the young youth about dating violence. There are many active programs that aim to change the attitude and behavior linked with teenage dating violence. An extremely popular example is Safe Dates―the only evidence-based curriculum that prevents dating abuse in teenagers.
So, all the teens out there, just remember that physical and sexual violence is illegal, and can put you behind bars. Also, if you know someone who is a victim of teenage dating violence, encourage that person to get help or at least speak to an adult at home to get some closure.