TEEN DATING VIOLENCE may not be something that everybody talks about, but that doesn’t mean that it’s uncommon.

“Staying in a relationship that decreases your self worth will ultimately destroy you.” Simeaka Melton

What happens to the girl who does not know she deserves a healthy relationship? What happens to the girl who settles for a little pushing here and there? What happens to the girl who feels worthless? What happens to girl who grows up in a violent relationship?

Unfortunately, I often I find myself having conversations with parents about their teenage daughters’s violent relationships. The most common statement parents make is “Not my daughter.”, right before we uncover “yes your daughter is in a violent relationship.”

 

HERE IS SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT:

1 in 4 teen girls say they have been concerned about being physically hurt by their partner.

1 in 4  teens who have been in a serious relationship say that a boyfriend or girlfriend has tried to prevent them from spending time with friends or family; the same number have been pressured to only spend time with their partner.

1 in 10  high school students report being intentionally hit, slapped or punched by their boyfriend or girlfriend.

Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from their dating partner in a single year.

Dear Parents,

It can be difficult or awkward to talk to your teen about their relationships, particularly those containing unhealthy traits or violence. It can help ease the conversation if you use your own teen dating experiences as examples. Be careful not to make it about you or an opportunity to stroll too far down memory lane. The goal is to be relatable so your teen will feel comfortable enough to open up.

It’s very important to listen more than you talk. What they say may surprise you but do not freak out. Use empathy because it will go a long way. If you are having trouble with how to get the conversation started, read over the Teen Dating Violence Red Flags Warning Signs.   It may serve as conversation starters to help you begin.

Staying in a relationship that decreases your self worth will ultimately destroy you. There is nothing to feel embarrassed or guilty about so do not be silent get help. You deserve more. You deserve a healthy relationship.

Love,

Simeaka Melton

 

What are the warning signs?

Teen Dating Violence Red Flags Warning Signs

  • Hits, chokes, slaps, shoves or forces sexual acts
  • Prevents or controls contact and communication with friends and family
  • Controls money and important identification
  • Causes embarrassment with bad names and put-downs
  • Critical about appearance or behavior
  • Plays mind games to place blame on the survivor
  • Shoves, slaps, chokes, hits or forces sexual acts
  • Has frequent and unrealistic expectations of partner
  • Threatens to commit suicide
  • Property destruction or pet abuse
  • Intimidates with weapons
  • Monitor computer, cell phone use or social media use
  • Blaming you for their outrage

What is a healthy relationship?

Healthy relationships allow both partners to feel independent and supported, as well as connected to one another. In addition to love there are four key components of a healthy relationship.  Respect, communication, kindness and boundaries. Ultimately, the two people in the relationship decide what’s healthy for their relationship and what is not.  Remember you have freedom to discuss your relationship with your partner, even if something does not feel quite right or if something makes you uncomfortable. Do not be silent. Set clear boundaries and expectations of the healthy relationship you deserve.

What is a unhealthy relationship?

An unhealthy relationship will often leave you feeling nervous, uncomfortable, said, afraid, guilty and bad about yourself. If the person you are in a relationship with harms you or forces you to things you do not want to do that is a clear indication of an unhealthy relationship. Take immediate steps to get professional help to support ending the relationship safely. Develop a safety plan.

What is a safety plan?

A safety plan is a personalized plan that can help you avoid dangerous situations. If you’re experiencing unsafe situation, abuse, you have a safety plan in place.

 

Types of Teen Dating and Domestic Violence

Physical. Any use of force that causes pain or injury, such as hitting, kicking or slapping.
Sexual. Abuse can include sexual harassment, sexual assault or manipulating a person into having sex by using guilt or threats.
Financial. Controlling a person’s income or financial assistance, misusing one’s credit or making it difficult for a person get or maintain a job.
Emotional and Verbal. Constant criticism, threatening to hurt loved ones or harassment at school or in the workplace.
Psychological. Minimizing or blaming a person for the abuse, intimidation and/or threats or destroying property.

 

GET HELP:

1-800-799-(SAFE) 7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) 24/7/365 days a year

If you, your friend, or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there resources available for help.

The following resources provide information for teens dealing with relationship violence:

 

RESOURCES:

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline   www.loveisrespect.org
Change In Action   www.changeinaction.org
 Break the Cycle  www.breakthecycle.org
Love is Not Abuse www.loveisnotabuse.com
Teen Outreach Program www.teenrelationships.org
No More.org  www.nomore.org
 U Have the Right  www.uhavetheright.net
Safe Youth www.safeyouth.org
National Hotline For Domestic Violence  www.thehotline.org
See It And Stop It.Org  www.seeitandstopit.org
Teen Health Centre www.teenhealthcentre.com
The National Network To End Domestic Violence  www.nnedv.org
Love Is Respect  www.loveisrespect.org
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Gigi is the owner of For the Love of Style Magazine; The Chief Creative Officer for Kamisol Style Consultancy and the Founder of Purple Runway. Gigi works with small business professionals who want to bring their personal style into alignment with a powerful brand presence. She helps them shape their personal style temperature into a dynamic public brand from the inside-out that will position them apart from the competition. 

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