Violence in teen dating relationships
One study reports that 25% of 8 graders say they’ve been victims of dating violence. While any amount of abuse is too much and worthy of our attention, the fact that this many students engage in abusive relationships at such a young age should serve as a warning sign that teen dating violence is a serious issue, and we can’t ignore it.Let’s take another look at that 16-year-old and his girlfriend.
Teen dating violence prevention programs tend to focus on attitudes about violence, gender stereotyping, conflict management, and problem-solving skills.February is national Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention month. We all have images that spring to mind when we think of this kind of abuse, and more than likely none of them are teenagers.A plethora of high-profile cases, like Ray Rice, have drawn plenty of attention to adult domestic abuse, but dating violence is also increasing in severity among younger age groups.In addition to teaching relationship skills, prevention programs can focus on promoting protective factors—that is, characteristics of a teen’s environment that can support healthy development—and positive youth development.These can also be fostered by a teen’s home and community.For example, higher levels of bonding to parents and enhanced social skills can protect girls against victimization.
Similarly, for boys, high levels of parental bonding have been found to be associated with less externalizing behavior, which in turn is associated with less teen dating violence victimization.
Statistics tell us that most victims of dating violence are girls between the ages of 16 and 24.
What’s more, many victims of domestic violence report having been first abused between the ages of 11 and 17.
Here are 4 healthy boundaries that every teen should set for their dating relationships: With an awareness that dating violence is a teen issue, we can better protect those at risk.
Learn more about Teen Dating Violence by visiting our topics page or book a program with one of our speakers to talk to your students about how to build healthy relationships.
Since almost half of the reported incidents of teen dating violence occurred on school grounds, let’s imagine them in the hallway between classes.