Like domestic violence, teen dating violence is a pattern of controlling, and abusive behaviors of one person over another within a romantic relationship. It can include verbal, emotional, physical, sexual, and financial abuse. It can occur in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. It knows no boundaries and crosses race, socio-economic status, culture, and religion. Violencecan happen to anyone.
Annually, 1 out of 11 adolescents reports being a victim of physical dating abuse (CDC 2006). Many of these cases of teen dating violence could have been prevented by helping adolescents to develop skills for healthy relationships with others (Foshee et al. 2005). Like adults, teenagers can choose better relationships when they learn to identify the early warning signs of an abusive relationship, understand that they have choices, and believe they are valuable people who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
This month, many of my posts have addressed issues related to breaking the cycle of domestic violence and exposing myths about this phenomenon. Access to information is integral to breaking the cycle of violence. Toward that goal, I would like to direct your attention to very help informational resources related to domestic violence intervention, prevention, and community outreach.
For further information on teen dating violence, here are several websites you can visit: www.thesafespace.org; and www.breakthecycle.org. Sources: Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). www.thesafespace.org; and www.breakthecycle.org. Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art