Teen dating is a subject that is touchy. There are more and more issues arising with teens in the dating world. Teen pregnancy is on the rise. There are drugs on the market that can impair a teen’s ability to make clear decisions and to protect themselves. Perhaps much more common and alarming is the increase of teen dating violence.
Teen dating violence is defined as a pattern of behavior that is controlling by a teenager over another teenager. These teens are in a dating relationship with each other. Oftentimes, behaviors include physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. A single poll that was conducted within the United States showed that 40% of teenagers said that they know someone that is in a relationship that is abusive. Despite this fact, many parents do not realize how significant the issue of teen dating violence is.
While many similarities exist between adult dating violence and teen dating violence, there are some major differences that are present. Teens have a much higher likelihood of becoming isolated from their friends and peers due to controlling behavior that their boyfriend or girlfriend is exhibiting. Abusive relationships in teens are quite often their first dating experience. Due to this fact, they do not have any regular dating experiences to compare this abusive relationship with.
There are six different forms that teen dating violence can take. There can be:
1. Physical abuse: Which includes physically striking someone or preventing them from being able to leave a potentially hazardous situation.
2. Emotional and verbal abuse: Involves name calling, attempts to destroy self-esteem, and humiliation.
3. Sexual abuse: Can occur often in a teen dating violence situation. This involves forcing or coercing a boyfriend or girlfriend into having sex against their will.
4. Threats: Are another common form that dating violence takes in teens. There can be threats of retaliation or harm if the individual tries to tell anyone what is going on or tries to get help. There can also be threats related to leaving the relationship.
5. Isolation: Is a major issue with teen dating violence. Teens that are being abused and isolated will not be allowed to spend time with other people. This will isolate them from their friends and family and gives the abuser a much greater degree of control in the relationship.
6. Harassment: Is a very common sign of dating violence in teens. This can include repeated, incessant phone calls, repeated text messages, and various other types of communication. This is another way that the offender maintains control and makes the victim constantly aware that they are being controlled.
All six types or combination of teen dating violence can quite often make the teen feel helpless and they may not realize that there is any way to get out of the relationship.
There are some statistics that have been compiled in relation to teen dating violence. These statistics are based on research and studies that have been conducted with large numbers of teenagers. Research shows that almost half of all the teenagers in the United States are involved in an abusive relationship themselves or know friends that are being abused. These are shocking numbers. The main reason for the continuing increase in teen dating violence is the fact that parents are not aware. Parents need to do research into dating violence. They should also talk with their teens and know what is going on in their lives.