Violence in teen dating relationships
In this 2010 photo North Plainfield High School drama students Luis Salazar, right, as "C.J.," and Melissa Torres, as "Angela," are shown during a rehearsal of "Don't U Luv Me," a play that explores the concept of violence in teen dating at North Plainfield High School in North Plainfield, N. More than a third of teen guys and girls say they've been physically, emotionally or sexually abused in their dating relationships, according to new, unpublished data from a nationwide survey.If you think your son or daughter may be controlling, abusive, or violent with his or her partner, tell your child that abuse and violence are NOT acceptable and that violence will not solve problems.Let him or her know when you truly care for someone you don’t hurt them or try to control them.A national survey found that ten percent of teens, female and male, had been the victims of physical dating violence within the past year and can increase the risk of physical injury, poor academic performance, binge drinking, suicide attempts, unhealthy sexual behaviors, substance abuse, negative body image and self-esteem, and violence in future relationships.Teen dating violence can be prevented, especially when there is a focus on reducing risk factors as well as fostering protective factors, and when teens are empowered through family, friends, and others (including role models such as teachers, coaches, mentors, and youth group leaders) to lead healthy lives and establish healthy relationships.It is important to create spaces, such as school communities, where the behavioral norms are not tolerant of abuse in dating relationships.
Remind your teen that he or she deserves a violence free relationship and that abuse is NEVER appropriate and NEVER their fault.
Youths report emotional, physical and sexual abuse In 2012, the National Dating Abuse Helpline was contacted 39,938 times.
The 24-hour service is available at at 1-866-331-9474, or by texting "loveis" to 22522.
These findings, to be presented today in Honolulu at a meeting of the American Psychological Association, are the latest to shed light on a problem that has only come out of the shadows in recent years.
Researchers and educators eager to stop violent patterns early — and reduce abuse not only among teens but among the adults they will become — already are testing programs that teach younger children and teens how to have healthier relationships.