Go help dating violence
Another scary fact tells us that violent behaviors within a dating relationship are occurring at earlier and earlier ages as younger and younger children start dating.One study reports that 25% of 8 graders say they’ve been victims of dating violence. While any amount of abuse is too much and worthy of our attention, the fact that this many students engage in abusive relationships at such a young age should serve as a warning sign that teen dating violence is a serious issue, and we can’t ignore it.Let’s take another look at that 16-year-old and his girlfriend.The message must be clear that treating people in abusive ways will not be accepted, and policies must enforce this message to keep students safe.February is national Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention month. We all have images that spring to mind when we think of this kind of abuse, and more than likely none of them are teenagers.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.
A 16-year-old verbally abusing and emotionally controlling his girlfriend after class might make for a less dramatic mental image than our glamorous celebrity examples, but it doesn’t deserve our attention any less.Statistics tell us that most victims of dating violence are girls between the ages of 16 and 24.A plethora of high-profile cases, like Ray Rice, have drawn plenty of attention to adult domestic abuse, but dating violence is also increasing in severity among younger age groups.Singer Rihanna’s abuse by boyfriend Chris Brown is just one example as then 19-year-old Rihanna made her history of physical abuse at the hands of Chris Brown known to the world. In most cases it starts much earlier before it develops into full-fledged violence, and in some tragic instances, death.
Unfortunately, teen dating violence—the type of intimate partner violence that occurs between two young people who are, or who were once in, an intimate relationship—is a serious problem in the United States.
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.