Dating Violence occurs among all races, ages, religions, and socio-economic levels.No state, no city, no community is immune.
Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime. Dating violence often starts with teasing and name calling. These behaviors are often thought to be a “normal” part of a relationship. But these behaviors can lead to more serious violence like physical assault and rape.
What is dating violence?
Teen dating violence is defined as the physical, sexual, or psychological/emotional violence within a dating relationship. Other words used to describe teen dating violence might be:
- Relationship Abuse
- Intimate Partner Violence
- Relationship Violence
- Dating Abuse
- Domestic Abuse
- Domestic Violence
Adolescents and adults are often unaware how regularly dating violence occurs. In a nationwide survey, 9.8 percent of high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the 12 months prior to the survey. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.)
Why Does Dating Violence Happen?
Treat others with respect. This idea may seem like common sense but the truth is, quite a few teens are involved in violent relationships. And many think it’s justified. After all, society seems to be okay with it, just look at all the TV shows and listen to popular songs these days. Violence is never acceptable. But there are reasons why it happens.
Violence is related to certain risk factors. Risks of having unhealthy relationships increase for teens who:
- Believe it’s okay to use threats or violence to get their way or to express frustration or anger.
- Use alcohol or drugs.
- Can’t manage anger or frustration.
- Hang out with violent peers.
- Have a friend involved in dating violence.
- Have low self-esteem or are depressed.
- Have learning difficulties and other problems at school.
- Don’t have parental supervision and support.
- Witness violence at home or in the community.
- Have a history of aggressive behavior or bullying.
Dating violence can be prevented when teens, families, organizations, and communities work together to implement effective prevention strategies.
Consequences of Dating Violence
As teens develop emotionally, they are heavily influenced by their relationship experiences. Healthy relationship behaviors can have a positive effect on a teen’s emotional development. Unhealthy, abusive or violent relationships can cause short term and long term negative effects, or consequences to the developing teen. Victims of teen dating violence are more likely to do poorly in school, and report binge drinking, suicide attempts, and physical fighting. Victims may also carry the patterns of violence into future relationships.
Stay Strong. Choose Respect. Expect Respect!