What you need to know about teen dating violence
Dating can sometimes be more violent than many realize, especially for teens. That’s why February has been designated Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month.
According to the National Council on Crime and Delinquency Focus, about one in three teenagers in the United States experiences physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure far exceeding victimization rates for others. types of violence affecting our young people.
Teens who have been in abusive relationships can carry these unhealthy patterns of violence into their future relationships. They can bring this experience with them into the classroom, into their later relationships, and ultimately they can become victims and perpetrators of adult spousal violence.
But there are signs you can look for if you think your teenager might be in an abusive relationship. These include:
• Signs of jealousy or possessiveness on the part of your teen’s partner, to the point that your child stops spending time with other friends and family.
• Unexplained marks or bruises.
• Depression or anxiety.
• End participation in extracurricular activities or other interests.
• Dress differently, such as wearing loose clothing so as not to attract attention.
• The need to text or call the partner immediately to keep them from getting upset.
• Fear of his partner’s reaction to a given situation.
Talk to your teens about their relationships, discuss warning signs, and create a safe, positive place for them to ask questions or concerns.
If you think your child may be in an abusive relationship, contact their doctor for help. Or call the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline at (866) 331-9474 or text “loveis” at 22522.
• Children’s Health is an ongoing series. Madelyn Burbank is a Certified Clinical Social Worker and Stand Against Violence Everyone / Everywhere (SAVE2) Navigator for the Amita Health Behavioral Medicine Institute.