Teenage violence is real – we need to first accept the fact. Violence is also common in teen dating. Now it is very easy to live a life of denial and imagine all is good with the world. But you won’t be doing your teen any favors with such an attitude.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) one in four teenagers have to deal with abuse from a partner (1) every year. Violence in Teen Dating can include:
- Emotional Violence: Words, sometimes, can cause more harm than actions. Many times, teens are involved in relations with a lot of verbal abuses (2). Name-calling, emotional blackmailing, shaming, etc. are all examples of emotional violence.
- Physical Violence: It is horrifying to see a young girl (or a boy, in some cases (3)battered. But physical violence is pretty common among dating teens.
- Sexual Violence: Around 60% of rapes during teenage happens in dating relations (4).
No matter the form teenage dating violence takes, the effects can la
[ Read: How To Deal With Teenage Attitude ]
Causes Of Teen Dating Violence:
Why do seemingly happy teenagers turn into angry monsters when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex? There are a number of reasons that may lead to violence in teen dating. Here are the major ones:
1. Low Self-Esteem:
Low self-esteem can take a toll on teenagers (5). It can also lead to violence while dating. When a person has low self-worth, he may become the attacker, trying to control the partner to get a boost of confidence. On the other extreme, a person with low self-esteem may hang on to an abusive relation because she thinks that’s the best she can get.
Most teens are just too inexperienced to understand the reality of relationships. Because they don’t know any better, abuse may seem normal to many teens (6).
Teenagers, who experience violence at home, are more likely to be abusive towards their partners (7).
[ Read: How To Deal With Low Self Esteem In Teenagers ]
4. Peer Pressure:
Teenagers are greatly influenced by their friends. Sometimes, they may want to present a certain image to their friends and resort to violence (8). A teenager with friends who have a history of violence is more likely to be a part of an abusive relationship.
5. Psychological Problems:
Many teenagers suffer from psychological problems, which in turn can be the cause of teen violence (9).
6. Substance Abuse:
Teenagers who are addicted to alcohol or drugs too are likely to indulge in violent behavior (10).
The causes behind dating violence in teens are varied, but all of them lead to some life-shattering effects.
Effects Of Violence In Teen Dating :
Some of the major effects of teen dating violence includes:
- Substance abuse
- Commitment issues
- More violence
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Teen violence can leave a lasting impact and scar a person for life. But there are steps you can take as a parent to prevent such incidents.
What Can You Do:
If you think your teenager is involved in dating violence try the following tips:
1. Be Aware:
Watch out for tell-a-tale signs such as falling grades at school, anxiety, shunning friends, bruises, etc. These signs are red flags and indicate that something is wrong.
2. Teach Respect:
Teach your teenager the value of respect in a relationship.
3. Do Not Criticize The Abuser:
Your teenager is most likely to be still in ‘love’ with her abuser. So, if she decides to confide in you, don’t criticize the abuser. Just listen.
[ Read: How To Deal With A Disrespectful Teenager ]
4. Be A Good Example:
Every couple fights. But try and keep that away from your teenager. Treat your partner with respect, and ask for the same in return.
5. Build Self Worth:
Tell and show your teenager how worthy she is. Tell her that she does not deserve abuse in any of its forms.
Finally, be there for your teenager – To listen, to console, to guide. If she needs professional help, help her. You cannot mend all the scars. But you can hold her hand as she recovers and heals her wounded soul.
How else do you think teen dating violence may harm a teenager? Share your views with us in the comments section below!
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