Teen dating violence is a larger issue than most people realize; one in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from someone they’re in a relationship with (loveisrespect.org, 2020). But what exactly is dating violence?
Dating violence is a pattern of coercive, intimidating, or manipulative behaviors used to show power and control over a partner. (loveisrespect.org, 2020)
Telling the difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy relationship can be trickier than you think. All relationships are different, so what is unhealthy and what is abusive can depend on the relationship. It is also important to remember that relationships exist on a spectrum; sometimes it is hard to tell when behavior changes from healthy to unhealthy or abusive.
Warning signs of abuse include:
Checking your phone, email, or personal accounts without permission
Putting down frequently, especially in front of others
Extreme jealousy or insecurity
Any form of physical harm
Isolating you from friends or family, either physically, emotionally, or financially
Explosive outburst, temper tantrums, or mood swings
Pressuring you or forcing you to engage in sexual conduct
Possessiveness or controlling behavior
Telling you what you can and cannot do
Different types of abuse can be present in relationships. This includes physical abuse, emotional and verbal abuse, sexual abuse, and financial abuse.
A new “form” of dating violence has emerged called digital abuse. This includes a partner doing things such as stealing passwords, forcing you to send explicit photos, ridiculing you online, constantly sending text messages and making you feel like you can’t be separated from your phone for fear of being punished, and/or telling who you can and can’t be friends with on social media.
Abuse is all about power and control. Even though an individual may be unwilling or unable to leave an abusive relationship, it is important to remember that abusive partners are unlikely to change their behavior.
For more information, a good place to start is loveisrespect.org and our Facebook page. If you or someone you know is needing help escaping an abusive relationship, visit our website thrivetogether.org.
Types of Abuse. (2020, September 28). Retrieved from https://www.thehotline.org/resources/types-of-abuse/
Warning signs of abuse. (2020, September 29). Retrieved fromhttps://www.loveisrespect.org/about-dating/warning-signs-of-abuse/