Organizations like loveisrespect, Futures without Violence, and Break the Cycle have increased awareness and provided resources for teens.Congress too has joined the call to end dating abuse by dedicating the month of February to teen dating violence awareness and prevention.A lot of domestic violence focus is on adult relationships, yet the most common age in which intimate partner violence first occurs is 18-24 years old for both women and men.For women, the next most common age is 11-17 years old. Interpersonal and Physical Dating Violence among Teens. “Physical Dating Violence Among High School Students – United States,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 19, 2006, Vol. In fact, less than 10% of teen victims report seeking help. Kids are being abused, resources are available, but the link between the two is missing. What follows are some myths about teen dating violence that may prevent youth from seeking help, or receiving help when they do reach out.Myth: If a person stays in an abusive relationship, it must not really be that bad. Almost 80% of girls who have been physically abused will continue to date their abusers. These include fear, emotional dependence, low self-esteem, feeling responsible, confusing jealousy and possessiveness with love, threats of more violence, or hope that the abuser will change.
Teen Relationship Abuse: Regional Needs Assessment. Children’s Hospital/Los Angeles, Division of Adolescent Medicine, funded by the California Department of Health Services, Maternal and Child Health Branch/Domestic Violence Section.
In our still largely homophobic society, the threat of “outing” someone who is not ready can be used to isolate and silence a person who is experiencing relationship abuse. Violence often continues even after an abuser stops drinking. top of page Personality disorders, mental illness, poor impulse control, and generational abuse do not cause relationship abuse.
For more information, please see our resources on Same Gender & LGBT Relationships. teen girls report ever experiencing physical and/or sexual IPV by a boyfriend. Even in cases where a particular mental illness may cause a person to be abusive (such as Alzheimers), the abuse is not specifically targeted at one person but to everyone around during the episode. See What Causes Relationship Abuse for more information. Domestic violence occurs in all socioeconomic groups.
Fact: When things get bad, people leave, escape, or protect themselves. For teenagers, these reasons are compounded by peer pressure, a fear of getting in trouble with adults, and the potential loss of friends.
We need to find ways to lessen the stigma and perceived consequences of asking for help among teens. It doesn’t have the same consequences/isn’t as dangerous as domestic violence in adult relationships.