What is Teen Dating Violence?
Liz Clairborne, Inc.
- Dating violence or relationship abuse is a pattern of violent behavior that someone uses against a girlfriend or boyfriend. Abuse can cause injury and even death, but it doesn't have to be physical.
- It can take many forms, including threats, emotional abuse, insults, isolation from friends and family, name calling and controlling what someone wears or with whom they socialize. It can also include sexual abuse.
- It can happen to anyone, at any age, no matter what their race, religion, level of education or economic background.
Prevalence of Dating Violence Among Teens
- 1 in 5 female high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.
Jay G. Silverman et al.
- 1 in 3 teen report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped or physically hurt by their dating partners.
- 45% of girls know a friend or peer who has been pressured into either intercourse or oral sex.
- 57% of teens know someone who has been physically, sexually, or verbally abusive in a dating relationship.
Liz Clairborne, Inc.
Teen dating violence is often hidden because teens typically
How is teen dating violence perpetuated?
- Are inexperienced with dating relationships
- Are pressured by peers to act violently.
- Want independence from parents.
- Have romantic views of love.
- Influenced by how teens view themselves and others.
Young men may believe...
- Learned behavior
- Silent or hidden phenomenon
- Culturally accepted; gender roles
- Teens do not perceive what's happening to them as abuse.
- They have the right to control their partners in any way necessary.
- Masculinty is physical aggressiveness
- They possess their partner.
- They should demand intimacy.
- They may lose respect if they are attentive and supportive toward their girlfriend
Young women may believe...
They are responsible for solving problems in their relationships
- Their boyfriend's jealousy, possessiveness and even physical abuse, is romantic and/or a compliment.
- Abuse is normal because their friends are also being abused.
- There is no one to ask for help.
Clues indicating that a teen may be experiencing dating violence
- Extreme jealousy
- Controlling behavior
- Uses force during an argument
- Quick involvement
- Shows hypersensitivity
- Unpredictable mood signs
- Believes in rigid gender roles
- Alcohol and drug use
- Blames others for his problems or feelings
- Explosive anger
- Cruel to animals or children
- Isolates you from friends and family
- Threatens violence
- Verbally abusive
How teens differ from adults and children
- Physical signs of injury
- Use of drugs/alcohol
- Truancy, dropping out of school
- Emotional outbursts
- Failing grades
- Changes in mood or personality
Normal reaction to victimization
Teen's enhanced reaction to victimization
- Loss of Control
- Sense of Vulnerability
The Big Four
Why victims stay
- Isolation: Feel different from their peer group; Intensified feelings of awkwardness; convinced they are not normal; self-esteem drops; may experience depression.
- Helplessness: Feel that nothing can be done to change the situation and that no one can help or that no one cares.
- Hoplessness: Lose hope that life will return to normal or that the future will be better.
- Powerlessness: Feel that they have no control and no personal power; this feeling may manifest itself in aggressive behavior in efforts to conteract this sentiment or withdrawal to ignore or 'give in' to it.
- Victims may remain in an abusive relationship for many reasons, including:
- Minimization of the crime
- Social or religious stigma
- Lack of understanding