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Violence amongst teenage dating is a huge social issue that affects millions of young people around the world. According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 12 U.S. high school students experienced dating violence – whether physical or sexual. Teen dating violence (TDV) can alter the way one develops, leaving lost lasting effects on identity, sexuality, and intimacy.
There are multiple signs to look out for with teen dating. Not only when you’re the one in the relationship but also as a bystander during an abusive situation. Romantic relationships are frequently accompanied by jealousy and communication issues – both of which are leading factors to dating violence.
Some things to look out for:
Abuse usually tends to become worse over time, and being able to point out negative behaviors early on in a relationship can help reduce TDV.
We can work collectively to help prevent teen dating violence by bringing more awareness to an issue that isn’t frequently discussed.
As a role model, you can display healthy relationships and boundaries for the teenagers in your life. With the norm being shared that abusive behavior is not tolerated, a message can be sent out to teens who may not be aware of their situation or have a place to express themselves and safely share their experiences.
It is common for behaviors seen in real life, on TV, and at home to be normalized into habits and expectations. Having an intentional conversation about the realities of domestic violence is vital to equip young people with the tools to identify negative behaviors and build positive relationships.
Creating/joining safe environments/communities and seeking help is the most effective way to get out of an abusive relationship. It is important to remember you are never alone – resources are always available. Whether through programs, friends, or family, there is always help accessible to you.
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