Dating Violence: Recognizing and Escaping An Abusive Relationship
Pictured is Natasha Hall, a young teen who called for help on several occasions from the Deland, FL police department. She was told to stop calling or they would put her in jail. The last time she called was the day her ex-boyfriend killed her and then himself. How tragic and senseless this could have been avoided if only the police paid attention to the signs.
The National Center for Victims of Crime reports that as many as 25% of , more than half of high school age students report to know about dating violence among their peers. This type of abuse can be physical, sexual or emotional, but is almost always long lasting and can impact their relationships for the rest of a teens life.
It’s never too early to think about your teen’s self esteem. There are several signs that parents should look out for that could signal that your teen is in an abusive relationship. Recognizing these signs and talking to your teens about their options can be critical to helping them developing and maintain healthy relationships.
Healthy Relationships Unhealthy Relationships
- Discussing and agreeing on things (Ex. Where to go on a date)
- Liking each other as you are
- Respecting each other's feelings
- Being open-minded with each other
- Being able to do other things with your friends
- Trusting and being honest with each other
- Not respecting each other's privacy and individual space
- Being filled with jealousy
- Not being able to trust each other
- Being selfish
- One person controlling the other
- Lying to each other
- Being violent
- Forcing your partner to do anything they don't want to do
- 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 more privacy
- Physical signs of injury 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 not just experimentation;
- Isolates their partner from friends and family;
- Uses force during an argument, physical and emotional;
- Believes in rigid sex roles women are a possession;
- Blames others for his problems or feelings;
- Has a history of abusive relationships.