Imagine being in a high school hallway, watching crowds of teenagers traveling to their classes. As a blond girl and her tall boyfriend walk by hand-in-hand, you might be impressed with how close they seem. But if you look a little closer, you would see that something is terribly wrong with our hypothetical couple. She is wearing long sleeves on a humid day to hide the bruises on her arms where he squeezed her when he was angry. She also has stopped curling her long blonde hair and now wears it in a simple ponytail. Her boyfriend tells her she looks better this way, but really he doesn't want her long, golden hair to attract attention at school.
A Proclamation on National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, 2021
Preventing Teen Dating Violence | CDC
Dating abuse or dating violence is the perpetration or threat of an act of violence by at least one member of an unmarried couple on the other member in the context of dating or courtship. It also arises when one partner tries to maintain power and control over the other through abuse or violence , for example when a relationship has broken down. This abuse or violence can take a number of forms, such as sexual assault , sexual harassment , threats, physical violence, verbal , mental, or emotional abuse , social sabotage, and stalking. In extreme cases it may manifest in date rape. It can include psychological abuse , emotional blackmail , sexual abuse , physical abuse and psychological manipulation. Dating violence crosses all racial, age, economic and social lines.
Dad Daze: Dealing with teen dating violence
Having a boyfriend or girlfriend is common during the teen years, but not all of these relationships are healthy. In fact, a large percentage of teens report experiencing some form of abuse. Topping the list is psychological or verbal abuse, with 60 percent of teens experiencing it during their dating relationships. Meanwhile, 18 percent of teens report physical abuse and nearly 20 percent experienced sexual abuse. Other types of dating abuse teens may experience include digital dating violence, cyberbullying , and financial abuse.
Given that youth in relationships today are constantly in touch with each other via texting, social media, and video chat, more opportunities for digital dating abuse can arise. Our study is the first to examine these behaviors with a large, nationally representative sample of 2, US middle and high school students 12 to 17 years old who have been in a romantic relationship. There are multiple ways in which teens can exploit online communications devices to cause harm to a current or former romantic partner. Teens may be excessively mean-spirited and hurtful to their significant other when interacting with them online for the same reasons that those who cyberbully or troll others do such as anger or a felt need to exert power. In addition, some aggressors have improperly obtained and used private pictures or videos to blackmail, extort, or otherwise manipulate their romantic partner into saying or doing something against their will.