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Warning signs of teenage abusive relationships

Today’s episode is about teen dating abuse and violence. I know this topic can be difficult to hear, but I am encouraging you to listen because unfortunately this continues to be an all to common issue I see in my practice. In the past I co-facilitated a domestic violence batterer’s intervention group for teen boys. They had been charged with being physically abusive toward a partner or family member or a person and were required to attend an either a 26 or 52 week program for perpetrators. The agency I worked at had a group for teen girls and two different groups for adult males and females.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Statistics of teen dating abuse and violence
  • Warning signs of possible abuse or violence in the relationship
  • How to help your daughter

Statistics of teen dating violence

  • 1 in 3 high school student experiences some form of dating violence (physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse) in their relationship

Love and Respect website states:

    • Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
    • One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
    • Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average.
    • Among female victims of intimate partner violence, 94% of those age 16-19 and 70% of those age 20-24 were victimized by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
    • Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18.
    • The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

  • Violence is related to certain risk factors. Risks of having unhealthy relationships increase for teens who —
    • Believe that dating violence is acceptable
    • Are depressed, anxious, or have other symptoms of trauma
    • Display aggression towards peers or display other aggressive behaviors
    • Use drugs or illegal substances
    • Engage in early sexual activity and have multiple sexual partners
    • Have a friend involved in dating violence
    • Have conflicts with a partner
    • Witness or experience violence in the home
    • Dating violence can be prevented when teens, families, organizations, and communities work together to implement effective prevention strategies.

Warning signs of possible abuse

  • Checking cell phones, emails or social networks without permission
  • Extreme jealousy or insecurity
  • Constant belittling or put-downs
  • Explosive temper
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Making false accusations
  • Erratic mood swings
  • Physically inflicting pain or hurt in any way
  • Possessiveness
  • Telling someone what to do
  • Repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex
  • Behavior change in daughter-more depressed or withdrawn, anxious or seems fearful

What parents and teens can do

  • Listen without judgment
  • Share your concern with your daughter about how she is being treated in her relationships
  • Remind her it is not her fault and she doesn’t deserve to be treated that way
  • Encourage her to create a code word or signal to let her friends know she is in danger
  • Have a list of important phone numbers in your cell phone or with you at all times.
  • Brainstorm what you can do or places you can go if your boyfriend becomes violent
  • Tell friends or parents where you are going or what you may do when with boyfriend.
  • Call 911 if you are in danger
  • Write down what happens in a journal or notebook. (It may be important later on to keep a record of what is happening.)
  • Get professional help-support groups for victims of violence, mental health counseling to work through the traumas and regain self-confidence

This podcast is also available on Stitcher, Google Play, YouTube and now iHeartRadio.

Resources Information: (Some maybe affiliate links)

CDC Website 

Love and Respect Website 

Break the Cycle

Women Helping Women

RAINN: https://www.rainn.org/ 800-656-HOPE (4673)

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) http://www.thehotline.org/

Wheel of Violence  

Wheel of Equality 

Start Strong Website 

Indiana DV Services 

Teen Torment: Overcoming Verbal Abuse at Home and at School by Patricia Evans