Dating Abuse

Imagine coming home from work and you go to your teen’s bedroom to make sure that she has done her homework. You knock at the door, and she is on the other side begging you not to come in the room. You demand for her to unlock the door. Finally, after several minutes of trying to force your way into the room, she unlocks and opens the door. To your surprise she has a black eye and a bruised arm. You wonder if she was in a fight at school today and you begin to ask several questions. She says that it is nothing and that you shouldn’t be worried. Of course, it isn’t that easy to just walk away knowing that your child has been physically hurt. But you decide to give her space and let her sort things out on her own.

Many parents go through traumatic scenarios similar to this all the time. You may be surprised that one in four teenage girls will be in an abusive relationship with a man; and 95% of these girls will never ask to be helped. Many young girls who grow up in single-family homes are vulnerable to have somebody love them the way that their missing parent should have. Many teenage girls with absentee fathers often search for love in other places by becoming promiscuous and willing to have sex with random men in order to find this love. However, some girls fall in love with the first guy who gives them attention, even if the end result is abuse. There are an astounding number of teenage girls who are being controlled and or abused by their boyfriends even before they are able to get out of high school.

According to Liz Claiborne Inc. commissioned Teenage Research Unlimited (TRU) website, there are certain facts that we should all be aware of when it comes to teen relationship abuse.
�· 1 in 2 teens in serious relationships say that they have gone against their personal beliefs in order to please their partner.
�· 1 in 3 girls in serious relationships say that they have been afraid of being physically hurt by their partner.
�· 1 in 4 teens in serious relationships say that their partner has tried to keep them away from their friends and their family; the same number of teens have been pressured into only spending time with their boyfriend or girlfriend.
�· 1 in 3 girls ages 16-18 believe that sex is expected for people their age if they are in a relationship with a guy. Half of these girls say that they believe that the relationship would not last if they did not have sex with their partner.
�· Nearly 1 in 4 girls about 23% said that they went further sexually than they wanted to with their partner out of pressure.
�· 1 in 5 teens in serious relationships have reported being hit, slapped or pushed by their partner.

Geographically, abuse is not limited to just urban areas; abuse happens all over cities, suburbs and happens in all ethnic groups and regions across the world. However, teens that live in the South and Midwest have reported abuse in greater numbers then in other parts of the country. Hispanic teens seem to have the highest rate of acceptance of abuse.

How do you know if someone close to you is being abused? There are certain signs that you can watch out for if you’re child or someone you know is beginning to act strange since they began dating someone.

Isolation: If you teen daughter is not hanging out with her friends as much and is beginning to lose some of her close ones after she started dating her boyfriend, this may be a sign that she is going through dating abuse. Has your daughter stopped hanging out with the family and is seeming more and more isolated from the rest of the world?

Emotional Changes: Most teenage girls are happy when they begin a relationship with a boy. He may call all the time and say nice things to her. This is very typical in the beginning stages of dating. However, if your teen is becoming sad and depressed all of the time after meeting her boyfriend, this may be a sign of dating abuse. She may cry or become very sensitive to matters, or she just may want to be alone.

Constant Communication: Is your teen’s partner constantly calling, paging, or stopping by to check on her? Does she call him back immediately? He might want to know where she is or whom she is with and where she is going.

Jealousy Issues: Is your daughter afraid to even look at another boy or talk to them because she is frightened that her boyfriend will find out. Has he told her that he loves her very early in the relationship?

Clothes Issues: Has your daughter started changing the way that she looks? She may change her hairstyle or not wear makeup because he is pressuring her not to look like a slut. She is afraid that if she doesn’t wear her clothes like he says then he will physically harm her.

Makes Excuses: Does your daughter stick up for her boyfriend even when he has done something wrong to her? If you still feel something is wrong, you should not accept her denial of his behavior.

You should always speak with your daughter no matter what the circumstances and try to keep a close connection with your teen even if they aren’t in an abusive dating situation. It is always good to keep close communication with her for her own good.

If you are a teen who is in a dating abuse situation or you don’t know if you are or not then see if you answer yes to any of these questions.

1. Is your boyfriend very jealous and possessive of you?
2. Does he try to control the way that you dress and who you hang around with?
3. Has he ever called you out of your name or put you down in any way?
4. Has he ever hit, slapped, or pushed you?
5. Has he ever tried to threaten you or say that he will hurt someone that you love?
6. Has he ever pressured you into having sex with him? Were you afraid to refuse?
7. When you are with your friends and him together, does he ever call your friends names?
8. Does he tell you bad things about your friends and why you shouldn’t be hanging out with them.
9. Are you afraid of him in any way, shape, or form.
10. Does he come from a broken home? Has he had any traumatic experiences in his life or as a child?
11. Does he have a temper?
12. Does he always seem to be upset or unhappy?
13. Has he ever said, “If I can’t have you no one will?” Or “I would die without you?”
14. Does he call you none stop and always wants to know where you are and who you are with?
15. Have you become isolated from your friends, family, and activities that you once enjoyed?

Many people are dumbfounded by the reasons a young man would hit a young lady that he ‘so called’ loved. However, there are or there could be several reasons why some young men chose to abuse their partners. Many teenage boys undergo a lot of pressure and stress to be a man. Many young men come from abusive homes and many have witnessed their own fathers hitting on their mothers. This would be a learned behavior for them. Some of these young men want to feel dominant, knowing that they can’t really run the show unless there is someone there to dominate. A young girl is very vulnerable and easier to control. Some of these guys are afraid of rejection and they are filled with insecurities about themselves. They feel that by filling their girlfriend’s head up with garbage, i.e. “You will never find anyone to love you like I do.” “You’re not pretty, who would want to be with you?” By saying these things they try to convince their girlfriend to stay with them and convince her that if she leaves then she will be alone and miserable for the rest of her life. There could be millions of actual reasons why some teenage boys hit their girlfriends; we just need to be aware that they do.

So why won’t these girls leave these abusive situations? You have to realize that the violence may not happen all the time; it may come in cycles and spurts, and then he may be really apologetic after the abuse occurs. He may promise her that it will never happen again and that he didn’t mean to hurt her. The victim will want to believe his testimony so bad that she will convince herself that he is sincere and that he made a mistake, until it happens again. She may want the violence to end and have a deep faith that one-day he will change. She holds on waiting for that unprecedented day to happen, only finding herself in deeper more abusive situations. She may be dating a really popular guy and everyone is so happy for her, so she stays in the relationship to keep her social status at school and amongst her peers. She may feel that no one is going to believe that her boyfriend is abusing her and she may feel like it is her fault for allowing it to happen.

There are some things that we all should know about teen dating abuse, especially if you have young daughters.

1. One in ten teens will experience some form of physical violence during a relationship.
2. Control and jealousy are not signs of love, but signs of the abuser to have possession over their partner.
3. 85% of the people who are being abused by a partner are women.
4. Drugs and or alcohol are not really the main reasons for women getting abused. It may play a role, however, it still is not an excuse.
5. It is not the victim’s fault that they are being abused. The abuser may try to make it seem as if it is the abuse’s fault for the violence.
6. There is no such thing as a justifiable abuse. Abuse is wrong no matter how you look at it.
7. Everyday people we may see or encounter can be abusers, violence can happen amongst the rich, poor, educated, uneducated, black, and white. It can happen to anyone.

So how can you help if your teen or someone you know in an abusive situation?

Parents: Don’t get too offensive!!! Don’t try to attack him with words or physically. You shouldn’t give her ultimatums or try to force her to break up with him. These types of relationships will only drive her closer to him and further away from you. She may feel as if you don’t understand him.

You should let her know what true love is and how if he did love her he would not be harming her in any way. You can point out some of his behaviors such as: he calls you names, he cheats, and he lies. Ask her if she thinks that these are acceptable loving actions in a relationship. Doing so opens her up to thinking about his behaviors and how to begin resolving the issue.

The last resort should be legal intervention. You may have to place restraining orders on him or get him put in jail for assault if he is physically harming your daughter. Laws will vary from state to state and some of these laws will keep him away from your daughter.

Friends: If you know that your friend is being abused in a relationship, try to maintain a close friendship with them. You should always keep the lines of communication open with the abused friend and let her know that you are there for her. You can even try to get her to go with you places and abandon the abuser. Inviting her to go to the mall or a movie with you may be hard for boyfriend to get over, but limiting her time with him as much as possible may help in the long run.

I hope that God willing this article was of some assistance to you.

www.loveisnotabuse.com/timeline
to visit this site and download teen dating abuse handbook free, click on this link then about relationships abuse and click on handbooks. Pick the appropriate handbook for you.

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