Things that may seem normal or “endearing” are, in fact, types of dating abuse.
For instance, if a boyfriend gets mad that his girlfriend is wearing clothing that is too revealing, and calls her names because of it, that would qualify as an instance of dating abuse.
“Prevention of relationship abuse among adolescents requires a range of strategies from educating youth and adults about the extent of the problem; connecting youth to relevant supports and services; and engaging schools, parents and other influential adults to talk about healthy relationships,” researcher Alison Chopel, of the Public Health Institute’s California Adolescent Health Collaborative, said to Futurity.
Dédalo Purificação, an outreach coordinator at Domestic Violence Solutions, writing in The Independent, encouraged communities to provide "home bases" where youth can ask questions and learn about healthy relationship.
Very few adolescent victims seek professional help.
Abusive relationships often involve a pattern of repeated verbal, sexual, emotional, and physical abuse that escalates the longer the relationship continues.
"I think at least part of the answer to this communication dilemma can be answered by parents in the form of improved education," Cook wrote.
"When we educate ourselves, we begin to consider those admittedly frightening possibilities that ultimately increase our kids' safety." A recent study, published in the journal Pediatrics, reports that educating teens through school-based intervention proved to be an effective way to decrease and stop teen dating abuse.
Some of the indicators of an abusive relationship are verbal abuse; isolation from friends and loved ones; fear of the partner’s temper; fear of abandonment by the partner; accepting the partner’s controlling behavior; fear of intimidation; the distortion of the partner’s hurtful behavior; assuming responsibility for the partner’s abusive behavior; feeling trapped; and fear of leaving the abusive partner.
Some abusive relationships include behaviors that are in violation of University Regulations and/or state laws.
Unfortunately, however, that need for independence can lead a teenager to be in a relationship with a controlling, abusive partner…and nowhere else to turn.
What these young victims need to know is that the violence against them is not their fault, regardless of what their partner says.
According to the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Initiative was started by teenagers, and in 2005, the need for addressing teen violence was included in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.