Signs and symptoms of dating violence
Many victims of teen dating violence do not seek assistance or guidance because they are embarrassed, afraid of the repercussions from parents, or fearful of what their peers will think.Talking to teens – and making sure both boys and girls understand the importance of trust, respect, and honesty in relationships – can help to lay a foundation for intimate relationships.Teen dating violence “includes physical, psychological or sexual abuse; harassment; or stalking of any person ages 12 to 18 in the context of a past or present romantic or consensual relationship.” Teen dating violence can be done in person or, with the explosion of social media and telecommunication, electronically.Social media is a hotbed of violent and abusive activity, especially for teenagers who are new to relationships and unsure of how to handle their feelings most appropriately.Additionally, a teenager who commits teen dating violence may also face serious criminal consequences.Teenagers aren’t always the most forthcoming with authority figures, so it is important to encourage open and free communication.As a result, many teen relationships – nearly one third – are characterized as either unhealthy or violent.
While both boys and girls can be victims of teen dating violence, girls are far more likely to suffer.
Encourage teens to speak to adults with whom they have an admiration and trust.
If teens are afraid of punishment from their parents they may not speak out when in need.
Dating is an inevitable part of life that many experience for the first time as a teenager.
Healthy relationships, however, require hard work, communication, and a level of maturity that may not be present in teens.