violence is defined by the United States Department of Justice
as: the perpetration or threat of an act of violence by
at least one member of an unmarried couple on the other member
within the context of dating or courtship. This
also includes dating between same sex couples, although most
statistics have been gathered from heterosexual couples.
show that one in three teenagers has experienced violence
in a dating relationship. In dating violence, one partner
tries to maintain power and control over the other through
some kind of abuse. Dating violence crosses all economic,
racial and social lines, most victims are young women who
are also at higher risk for serious injury.
ages 16 to 24 experience the highest per capita rates of intimate
violence -- nearly 20 per 1000 women. (Bureau of Justice
Special Report: Intimate Partner Violence, May 2001)
women need a dating safety plan. (Intimate violent partner
- so that includes homosexual dating). Teen dating violence
often is hidden because teenagers typically:
inexperienced with dating relationships.
independence from parents.
romanticized views of love.
pressured by peers to have dating relationships.
dating violence is influenced by how teenagers look at themselves
and others. Young men may believe:
have the right to "control" their female partners in any way
is physical aggressiveness
"possess" their partner.
should and can demand intimacy.
may lose respect if they are attentive and supportive toward
women may believe:
are responsible for solving problems in their relationships
boyfriend's jealousy, possessiveness and even physical abuse,
is "normal" because their friends are also being abused.
think they can "cure" the abusive boyfriend
is no one to ask for help.
can choose better relationships when they learn to identify
the early warning signs of an abusive relationship. Teens
can choose better relationships when they understand that
they have choices, and believe they are valuable people who
deserve to be treated with respect.
warning signs that your date may eventually become abusive:
Extreme jealousy, controlling behavior, quick involvement,
mood swings, alcohol and drug use, explosive anger, isolates
you from friends and family, uses force during an argument,
shows hypersensitivity, blames others for his problems or
feelings, verbally abusive, has abused former partners, threatens
you with violence.
clues that indicate a teenager may be experiencing dating
signs of injury
and or dropping out of school
in mood or personality
of drugs/alcohol -- where there was no prior use
from friends and family
available for teenagers! If you are a teenager involved in
an abusive relationship, you need to remember that no one
deserves to be abused or threatened.