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Teen Dating Abuse Ages 13-18

What is Dating Violence?
 
Dating violence is controlling, abusive, and aggressive behavior in a romantic relationship. It can happen in straight or gay relationships. It can include verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, or a combination.
 
Type of abuse: They include:
Controlling Behavior
  • Not letting you hang out with friends.
  • Calling or paging frequently to find out where you are, who you’re with, and what you’re doing. 
  • Telling you what to wear. 
  • Having to be with you all the time.
Verbal and emotional abuse
  • Calling you names.
  • Jealousy. 
  • Belittling you (cutting you down) 
  • Threatening to hurt you, someone in your family, or themselves if you don’t do what they want
Physical abuse
  • Shoving
  • Punching 
  • Slapping 
  • Pinching 
  • Hitting 
  • Kicking 
  • Hair pulling 
  • Strangling
Sexual abuse
  • Unwanted touching and kissing.
  • Forcing you to have sex. 
  • Not letting you use birth control. 
  • Forcing you to do other sexual things.
Questions: Answers:
What are some early warning signs that my teenager might be in an abusive relationship:
  • Unexplained injuries.
  • Your teen fears their partner. 
  • Partner checks up on your teen; constant communication to question where about. 
  • Verbal abuse by the partner, such as name-calling and demeaning comments. 
  • Jealousy Issues. 
  • Isolation; Your teen gives up things that are important such as school, friends, time with family, activities, and other interests 
  • Your teen apologizes for their partner’s behavior. 
  • Partner abuses other people, animals, or things.
  • Change in appearance or behavior of your teen or their partner. 
  • Your teen and their partner spend most of their time together.
I believe my teen may be in an abusive relationship. What can I do?
  • Ask questions and listen with an open mind. 
  • Respect your teen’s choices. 
  • Keep channels of communication open. 
  • Be calm and take positive action. 
  • Avoid power struggles with your teen. 
  • Don’t go on the offensive; when speaking about the boyfriend don’t attack him with words or force her to break up with him this will only push her closer to boyfriend and further away from you. 
  • Teach love as a behavior; talk to her about love as a behavior rather than a feeling. Point out that he calls her names, he cheats on her, he lies to her & ask her if she considers those behaviors as loving, help her to make good decisions. 
  • Help set up a safety plan if your teen is trying to end the relationship. 
  • Deal with your anger in calm, reasoned and constructive ways. 
  • Resolve conflicts with your teen early. 
  • Manage your frustration so it does not affect your teen. 
  • Your last resource should be legal intervention; temporary restraining orders. These laws keep abusive boyfriends from having any contact.
I believe my teen may be the abusive partner in an abusive relationship. What can I do to help my teen break this pattern of behavior? 
  • Recognize controlling and abusive behavior.
  • Acknowledge your awareness of controlling and abusive behavior. 
  • Confront your teen’s controlling and abusive behavior. 
  • Communicate your concerns to the parents of your teen’s partner. 
  • Consult with community programs and mental health professionals for ideas. 
  • Accept help and support for your efforts from friends, family and others in the community. 
  • Seek help for your teen through community and mental health programs. 
  • Support your teen’s efforts to stop the pattern of abuse.
Reasons for abuse: Why a victim stays:

Power and control.

Abuse during childhood.

Jealousy.

Feels Trapped.

Peer pressure and gender roles.

Insecurity.

Uncontrollable anger.

Low self confidence.

Bonds with abuser.

Hope that things will get better.

Romantic ideal that love conquers all.

Fear that partner will not let go.

Lack of resources.

Low self confidence.

Feels trapped.

Does not understand the consequences.

 
 
 

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