What is Teen Dating Abuse Teen dating violence is abusive behavior: physical, emotional, sexual, financial, or social that one person in an intimate relationship uses in order to control the other person.
Emotional Abuse Yelling Name-calling Threatening Public humiliation Destroying homework Limiting who someone sees
Sexual Abuse Rape is forced or unwanted touching telling family or friends about sexual activities refusing to use contraception undermining sexual choices.
Financial Abuse Stealing money not letting someone work, asking someone to earn money through illegal methods.
Social Abuse Spreading rumors or using blackmail to control a partners actions Keeping a partner in check by monitoring their cell phone constantly or using friends to keep tabs on them Isolating a partner from her/his friends and family Using religion/culture to control partner
Pushes you or hits you Makes you feel scared Constantly calls or pages you Threatens suicide if you break up Pressures or forces you to have sex
Threatens to tell your parents or friends private things about you Start fights that never seem to end Always accuses you of cheating Threatens to "out" you Makes you feel badly about yourself, your friends or your family?
Things to remember… The signs and symptoms of abuse within teenage relationships are similar to those of other types of domestic violence. They may include physical violence, sexual assault, and emotional and/or psychological abuse.
Relationship abuse is a cycle. First you feel as though you are walking on eggshells. Then there is hitting or a scary incident. The abuser then apologizes and promises not to do it again. This cycle may repeat itself.
Relationship violence gets worse over time. Take seriously any threats that are made. You are important and do not deserve to be treated abusively.
Many acts of abuse begin early in dating relationships. Date and acquaintance rape may happen at the beginning of a relationship before there has been any physical intimacy.
Anyone can be a victim and anyone can be an abuser. Regardless of age, gender, sexuality, race, class, or religious affiliation.
Jealousy and possessiveness are not signs of love. In a healthy, loving relationship, people trust and support one another and respect each others independence. In a healthy relationship, your partner should want what is best for you.
There is no excuse for abuse. The abuser makes a choice to harm you. It is not your fault, no matter what other people say.
According to the Teen Dating Violence Initiative enacted by Congress, more than 40 percent of high school students (male and female, ages 16 to 19) have been the victim of dating violence (verbal, physical or emotional) at least once.
Even though teen dating violence can be a problem anywhere, with any gender or sexual orientation, males and females are typically abusive in different ways.
Females are more likely to threaten to hurt themselves, cause superficial injuries (such as pinching or scratching) and be verbally abusive. Males are more likely to cause severe physical injuries
Healthy relationships should have… Trust Shared decision-making Respect Compromise Open communication Recognizing and respecting differences Mutually agreed upon intimacy Openness Sharing Taking responsibility for one's own actions
An unhealthy relationship may have… Bullying Jealousy Possessiveness Manipulation Verbal abuse Blaming someone else for actions Pressured intimacy/ unwanted touching Intimidation Fear
Prevalence of Dating Abuse In a survey of over four thousand 9th through 12th graders, approximately 1 in 5 females reported physical and/or sexual abuse by a dating partner.
36.4% of teenage girls and 37.1% of boys reported receiving some form of physical aggression from dating partners at least once.
Girls reported that their boyfriends initiated the violence 70% of the time while boys only reported that their girlfriends were the initiators 27% of the time.
Females between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rates of domestic violence. Approximately 43% of teen dating violence victims reported that the dating abuse they experienced occurred in a school building or on school grounds.
40% of teenage girls know of someone who has been beaten by a boyfriend. 30% of all murdered teenage girls are killed by a current or former boyfriend.
Domestic Violence & Dating Violence The similarities…
Domestic violence and dating violence are very similar. In both cases, the abuser uses physical, emotional and/or sexual violence to control the victim. Domestic violence usually refers to couples who are married or living together.
Dating violence refers to couples who are in a casual or serious dating relationship and who may or may not be intimate.
While dating and domestic violence are much the same, there are differences. Unmarried adults can experience dating violence but often the victims are young.
Teenagers experiencing dating violence must not only face the pain of abuse but several other obstacles as well. They have even fewer resources available to them than victims of domestic violence
In some cases, domestic violence shelters are unable to accept victims under the age of 18, and young people often fear they won't be believed or taken seriously. They may be searching for independence and want to handle the problem on their own. They may think abuse is a normal part of relationships.
Following or appearing within sight of the targeted victim. Approaching or confronting the targeted victim in a public or private place. Appearing at the workplace or the home of the targeted victim. Entering or remaining on the targeted victim's property. Contacting the targeted victim by telephone over and over again.
Sending repeated mail or email to the targeted victim. Using cell phones, computers or surveillance equipment to keep tabs on the targeted victim.
Using the Internet or other electronic means to stalk someone. This is commonly known as CYBERSTALKING. The stalker may use search engines, bulletin and discussion boards, online forums, chat rooms as well as online communities like MySpace, Facebook, Friendster and Indymedia to stalk the victim, sometimes without the victim even knowing it.
One example of this would be if the abuser sends flowers or gifts to the partner with a carefully worded apology designed to coerce her to not leave the relationship.
Resources www.teenrelationships.org American Bar Association New York Office of Violence Prevention OCADVSA http://www.michigan.gov/datingviolence