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Teen Dating Violence - What Everyone Should Know


<p>Teens dating is a complicated issue for a lot of reasons.&nbsp; From the point of view of parents, seeing their teen entering the dating world is difficult due to the need to let them go and experience a new chapter in their life where parents are often kept firmly out of the relationship.&nbsp; From the point of view of teens, learning how to act and be a part of the dating world can also take some finesse, not to mention the social pressures that it often brings.&nbsp; One of the things that no parent or teen wants to deal with?&nbsp; Teen dating violence.&nbsp; Yet, it happens, and it happens a lot.</p> <p><strong>What is teen dating violence?</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; This is just like any other kind of violence.&nbsp; It can take the form of physical, sexual, or psychological violence.&nbsp; It also takes the form of stalking or sexting.&nbsp; This kind of violence is when it happens between two romantic partners.</p> <p>Dating violence is incredibly common, especially in teens.&nbsp; Because many experience their first relationships in high school, that young age also makes them impressionable and it leaves them vulnerable to falling to, and accepting, abuse later in life.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What are signs of teen dating violence?</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Physical abuse could take the form of either partner hitting or threatening to hit or hurt the other person when they do something &ldquo;wrong&rdquo;.&nbsp; For example, when one partner tells a joke and the other one hits them to get them to stop.</p> <p>Sexual violence is also common and hard for shy teens to recognize.&nbsp; For example, many teens think it&rsquo;s normal/&ldquo;okay&rdquo; for a partner to post intimate photos online without their consent.&nbsp; Or, to be pressured into sending those intimate photos in the first place to keep them &ldquo;interested&rdquo;.&nbsp; These are both examples of dating violence.</p> <p>Psychological abuse in a relationship would be when one partner uses threats or a &ldquo;guilt trip&rdquo; in order to keep the other one under their control.&nbsp; For example, threatening to kill themselves if the other partner breaks up with them.&nbsp;</p> <p>Stalking could be literally following their partner everywhere, or showing up (online or in-person) in places without being invited.&nbsp; Sexting could be intimate images or sexually-explicit messages sent from one partner to the other unwanted, or perhaps even being forced into participating (which then borders on sexual violence, as above).&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What can be done?</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Teen dating violence is on the rise and it is as frightening to parents as it is to teenagers themselves.&nbsp; When it comes to addressing it in these tentative relationships, the key points to focus on include:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Keep the lines of communication open:</strong> Parents and teens should have strong communication and open communication so that a teen can know they are able to safely and without judgement talk to their parents about an issue they may be having.&nbsp; The safer a teen feels, the more likely they are to confide in Mom and/or Dad.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Make sure you/your teen knows what violence looks like:</strong> Whether you are a teenager in this situation yourself, or you have a teen who is dating, make sure that everyone understands what abuse looks like and feels like so that the teen can spot it if it happens.&nbsp; The easier it is to spot, the easier it is for them to recognize it as dangerous.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Understand your rights:</strong> Violence between romantic partners is never okay.&nbsp; Especially not in a relationship so young in a teen&rsquo;s life.&nbsp; Understanding that, and believing it, helps keep everyone safe.</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Even if it is on the rise, more and more knowledge for teen dating violence is also coming out.&nbsp; This can be helpful for making sure that everyone stays aware of it, and on the look-out.</p> <p>Source: <a href=""></a></p>