Tip Sheet Tuesday: Is This Love? Teen Dating Violence

Love is Trusting
It isn’t keeping tabs with the obsessive calls and texts
Love is Secure
It isn’t being jealous, suspicious, or paranoid
Love is Accepting
It isn’t telling someone what to do, what to wear, or how to act
Love is Freedom
It isn’t about possessing anyone or anything

www.loveisrespect.com

R & B singers Rhianna and Chris Brown made news headlines with their violent dating relationship. On the night before the Grammy music awards, while sitting in a luxurious sports car, Chris Brown punched, choked and bit Rhianna, according to police records.

He threatened her life, he shoved her head against the car window and he bloodied her mouth. Despite being well known and famous, this couple is only one of many young couples that are in a violent dating relationship.

Are you in a relationship that is abusive or could turn violent? Do you know somebody who is?

IsThisLoveWho does it affect?
Young people between the ages of 16 to 24 are at the highest risk for dating violence. One in five teens in a serious relationship report having been hit, slapped, or pushed by a partner, and physically or sexually abused. You may know others who have been hurt, hit, punched, kicked or slapped by their boyfriend or girlfriend.

Dating violence happens in straight and gay relationships, in casual and serious relationships, in wealthy and not-so-wealthy homes, and among any race. In short, dating violence may happen to anyone at any time. Some violence may happen only once in a while, and some violence may be very frequent between the partners.

What is it?
How do you know if you are in a healthy relationship or one that could become violent and unsafe? Teen dating violence is not an occasional argument or a bad mood after a hard day. It is a pattern of controlling, abusive and aggressive behavior that can cause injury and even death.

Continuing in this kind of unhealthy relationship can be dangerous. You may be involved in a potentially abusive relationship if your dating partner shows one or more of the following:

  • Control
  • Verbal and emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse

Controlling behavior may include: 

  • Calling or texting multiple times to know where you are and who you are with.
  • Trying to keep you from spending time with your friends or family.
  • Taking charge and making most of the decisions in your relationship.
  • Spreading rumors or posting personal conversations and information about you on your MySpace or Facebook page.
  • Telling you what to wear.
  • Having to be with you all the time.

Verbal and emotional abuse may include:

  • Name calling (“ugly,” “stupid,” “worthless,” “fat”).
  • Being jealous of friends, coworkers, family.
  • Threatening to hurt you, your family or themselves if you don’t do what they want.
  • Blaming you for whatever goes wrong.

Physical abuse may involve:

  • Pushing
  • Shoving
  • Slapping
  • Pinching

Sexual abuse may include:

  • Unwanted touching and kissing.
  • Pressuring or forcing sexual contact or intercourse.
  • Not letting you use birth control.

Continue reading.

Download Full PDF.

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