CONYERS, GA— February is known as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Teen dating violence (TDV) is a subset of all domestic violence victims that go unnoticed by schools, friends, and parents. But 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year. That results in one in three girls and one in ten boys being victims of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure far exceeding the rates of other youth violence types.
TDV becomes more complicated because only 33% of teens in an abusive relationship have ever told anyone about the abuse. Worse, an astounding 81% of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue, or don’t realize their child is a victim.
In the same method of domestic violence, 23% of TDV victims experience multiple forms of violence, and 10% endure sexual assaults. The range of violence demands that friends, teachers, and parents know how to identify the Reg Flags in Teenage Relationships. 2022 Online Abuse and Harassment Survey stated that the most common setting in which online harassment occurs is on social media (70%) and via text or other messaging apps (78%).
Unhealthy or abusive relationships take many forms and not one specific behavior defines an abusive relationship. However, the red-flag behaviors should be cause for concern.
• Excessive jealousy or insecurity.
• Invasions of your privacy.
• Unexpected bouts of anger or rage.
• Unusual moodiness.
• Pressuring a partner into unwanted sexual activity.
• Blaming you for problems in the relationship and not taking any responsibility for the same.
• Controlling tendencies.
• Explosive temper.
• Preventing you from going out with or talking to other people.
• Constantly monitoring your whereabouts and checking in to see who you are with and what you are doing.
• Falsely accusing you of things.
• Vandalizing or ruining your personal property.
• Taunting or bullying.
• Threatening or causing physical violence.
If your student, friends, or child’s partner frequently engages in these behaviors. It may be wise to help them find someone they can speak with within a safe environment or visit resources such as https://www.thehotline.org/search-our-resources/ or https://www.loveisrespect.org/resources/types-of-abuse/ for help. In addition, adults with experience with relationships may be able to provide advice that can help them.
Marchman Consulting helps communities make an impact with data analysis, grant development, implementation, and evaluation for sustainability efforts for a variety of programs. An example is the alcohol risk management (ARM) measures, such as Marchman’s award-winning RASS training program. Validation of his success, Marchman was the recipient of the Office of Victims of Crime 2022 Victims’ Rights Award presented by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on the Washington Mall. More information of his services is available at www.marchmanconsulting.com.