Do you think your teen - or a teen you know - may be a victim of dating violence? It is more common than many people would like to admit. According to the ACADV, 40% of teenage girls ages 14 to 17 say they know someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend. And about one in three high school students have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship. That is a lot of teens having a problem that the adults around them are not recognizing.
So, how can you recognize potential dating violence? Make yourself aware of the warning signs. The teen who is being abused will have some of these signs:
- Falling or failing grades;
- Increased instances of indecision, stops giving her own opinion;
- Changes in mood or personality;
- Use of drugs/alcohol, not just experimentation;
- Emotional outburst , not just mood swings;
- Will become isolated, insist on ï¿½more privacyï¿½;
- Physical signs of injury ï¿½ cuts, bruises, etc.;
- Makes excuses for the abusers behavior;
- Begins to put herself/himself down.
Although parents may not see many of these, here are the signs concerning the abuser:
- Is extremely jealous, hypersensitive and controlling;
- Verbally abusive and threatens violence;
- Has unpredictable mood swings, with instances of explosive anger;
- Uses drugs and alcohol ï¿½ not just experimentation;
- Isolates their partner from friends and family;
- Uses force during an argument, physical and emotional;
- Believes in rigid sex roles ï¿½ women are a possession;
- Blames others for his problems or feelings;
- Has a history of abusive relationships.
Keep your eyes and ears open when your teen is dating. Stay involved and most importantly be there when your teen wants to talk. These things will help you see the signs of dating violence, should you need to.