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Teen Dating Safety

Know the facts

Today, juveniles are beginning to date as early as their “tween” years. By the time they reach high school, 1 in 3 teens know a friend or peer who has been physically hurt by a partner. Dating violence is defined, when one person tries to maintain power and control over another through abuse. The abuse can include physical, verbal, emotional or sexual abuse. It can happen at any age, regardless of sex, race, religion or ethnicity. It is often hidden because teenagers have “romantic” views of love, strive for independence from parents and are inexperienced with dating relationships. Teen dating is influenced by how they view themselves and others.

Warning signs of an abusive relationship:

  • your partner calls you names and/or puts you down in front of others
  • your partner acts extremely jealous when you spend time with friends or family and is possessive of your time
  • your partner is constantly calling you, texting you, emailing you and wants to know where you are, what you are doing and who you are with at all times
  • your partner easily loses their temper which results in breaking and hitting things
  • your partner threatens you, tries to control you by giving orders and making decisions for you
  • your partner has been violent towards you
  • your partner pressures you for sex or is forceful during sex
  • your partner abuses alcohol or drugs and pressures you to use it too
  • your partner blames you for the mistreatment or abuse you receive
  • you feel you need to walk on eggshells around your partner as if to avoid making them angry
  • you are constantly apologizing for your partner’s behavior and making excuses

Warning signs your teen may be in an abusive relationship:

  • your teen is failing classes or their grades have dropped
  • they are suddenly unable to make decisions or hesitant to give their opinion
  • change in mood or personality, more isolated and depressed
  • have physical signs of injury
  • major drug or alcohol abuse
  • begin to constantly put themselves down or speak negatively
  • stops spending time with friends or doing activities they enjoyed

For additional info:

www.loveisrespect.org
www.fcadv.org
www.dvcouncilofpb.org  
www.endabuse.org
www.loveisnotabuse.com

The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline
        -available 24/7
       1-866-331-9474

PBC Victim Services
        (561) 355-2383


Suggestions for Parents who suspect dating abuse:

  • talk to your teen without giving ultimatums
  • do not pressure them to end their relationship
  • suggest group dates
  • be there to listen, not to judge
  • discuss values in dating and relationships and model them in your relationship with significant others
  • reinforce that they have choices, they are valuable and they deserve to be treated with respect

If you find your child is being abused, contact your local police department.

Create a safety plan:

  • group date, having friends there with you that you trust
  • before leaving home, let other people know where you are going and what your plans are
  • carry a cell phone and money with you to make phone calls if needed
  • have a code word that you give to people you trust to use when you feel in danger
  • pick a safe and secret location where a friend or family member can pick you up
  • trust your instincts; if you feel you are in danger seek help immediately
  • if you are going to break up with your partner, do so in a public place and don’t do it alone
  • talk to your parents, friends, teachers, counselors, school police officers and let them know what is happening
  • change your routine, your route home, your email address, your cell phone and locker location and number
  • never go anywhere alone and don’t be hesitant to ask for help

Remember you are not responsible for fixing your partner; no one ever deserves to be abused

Know your rights:

  • you have the right to ask for a date and refuse a date
  • you have the right to express your feelings
  • you have the right to refuse affection and sex
  • you have the right to have friends and space away from your partner
  • you have the right to voice your own opinion
  • you have the right to have your values and limits respected