It is important that teenagers (and parents of teenagers) know the warning signs of teen dating violence. Did you know that 1 in 3 teens experience an abusive relationship? That is frightening.
Dating is one of the most exciting and fun parts of your teenage years. A whole new world of possibilities opens up to you as you start connecting with people in a more than a platonic way. However, as with any type of relationship, teenage romance can run the risk of violence. Just because you are young and inexperienced, it doesn’t mean that you should put up with dangerous and unacceptable behaviour from a partner. Here are some key warning signs of teen dating violence and some guidelines and tips that might help you get out of a sticky situation.
1. For Outsiders Looking in, Some Key Signs of an Abusive Relationship
Clear physical signs of damage including bruises and other marks on the body.
A recent increase in missing school days or even dropping out altogether.
A reluctance to make any decisions before consulting their partner.
Noticeable personality and mood changes.
An increase in alcohol or drug use.
A downturn in school grades and emotional outbursts in the classroom.
2. For Those Involved in a Relationship, Some Key Signs That Your Partner Has the Potential to Become Abusive
They express irrational feelings of jealousy that restrict the social choices you make.
They are controlling and only allow you to be in social settings that they have first approved.
You feel like they are pushing the relationship along too quickly in order to get you to commit to them.
They have a short temper and can very easily fly in to fits of anger and rage.
They try to stop you from seeing your friends and family in order to isolate you.
They do not take responsibility for their own actions and emotions, instead blaming others around them.
They tend to get forceful during disagreements.
They display levels of cruelty to animals or children.
3. What Teens Can do to Keep from Falling in to the Trap of an Abusive Relationship
Date in pairs with another friend. This limits the alone time spent with a new date and gives you time to assess their behaviour.
Always tell a friend or family member the details of an upcoming date, so they they can check up on you and know that something isn’t quite right if you fail to respond.
Stay sober in order to increase your awareness and take away the possibility of being coerced without your clarity.
Don’t be polite for politeness sake. If you don’t like the way things are going, be assertive and let them know that you are leaving.
Trust your instincts, they are there for a reason. If something doesn’t feel right between the two of you, then call it a day, don’t risk making a mistake and regretting not following your gut.
Teen dating violence is an issue we all need to be aware of and do our stop it happening. If you suspect it is happening to your friend or daughter, please take steps to intervene. If you think you are in an abusive relationship and need help to escape from it, seek help from friends, family or someone close to you that you trust.