Fact: Jealousy and possessiveness are a sign that the person sees you as a possession. Myth: Teen dating violence isn’t really that serious.Fact: Thirty percent of all women who are murdered in this country are killed by their husband or boyfriend.Unfortunately, dating abuse is surprisingly common. Both women and men can be hurt by partners who abuse and control them physically, sexually, emotionally, and in other ways.Nobody deserves to be treated with disrespect or to be abused by their partners, but dating violence can be difficult to identify and hard to escape. Physical abuse includes any use of size, presence, or place. Destroying your things, crowding your space, holding you so you can't walk away, driving you out to the middle of nowhere - all are actually types of physical abuse. Sexual abuse is any sexual behavior meant to control, manipulate, humiliate, or demean another.Any of these and more can be part of teen dating violence: Abusive teens use these kinds of behavior to keep power and control over a dating partner.Teen dating violence occurs in straight and gay (LGTBQ) relationships.According to a recent study conducted in Massachusetts, one in five teen girls are abused by their boyfriends. Fact: Perpetrators believe they have the right to use abuse to control their partner and they see the victim as less than equal to themselves. Myth: If a person stays in an abusive relationship, it must not really be that bad.Also, 60% of all rapes reported to rape crisis centers are committed by acquaintances, and the majority of victims are aged 16-24. Fact: While 95% of victims of abuse are females, men can be victims as well. Fact: People stay in abusive relationships for a number of reasons: fear, confusion, loss of self-confidence, not recognizing that what’s happening is abusive, belief that the abuser needs their help or will change. If you answered yes to some of the above then you may be a victim of domestic violence. We help people every day in the Wilmington area who are being abused.
Do you know where to go for help if you suspect a teen is in an abusive relationship?
Recognizing that the person you love is controlling, abusive or violent is hard even for adults.
Even when teens recognize that they are being abused, they may hesitate to turn to adults for support, understanding, and protection.
Further, teenage victims of dating violence are more likely than their non-abused peers to smoke, use drugs, engage in unhealthy dieting (e.g., taking diet pills or laxatives, vomiting to lose weight), engage in risky sexual behaviors, and attempt or consider suicide. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A 2009 study of sixth-grade students found that 25% thought it was acceptable for boys to hit their girlfriends.