Define Teen Dating Violence
First and most importantly, you need to understand what Teen Dating Violence is. Below are some commonly asked questions that may help you:
How often does it happen?
• Relationship violence is the number one cause of injury to women between the ages of 15-44.
• 70% of severe injuries and deaths occur when the victim is trying to leave or has already left the relationship.
• 70% of pregnant teenagers are abused by their partners.
• 63% of boys ages 11-20 arrested for murder were arrested for murdering the man who was assaulting their mother.
• 38% of date rape victims are young women between the ages of 14 and 17.
• 24% of female homicide victims are between 15 and 24 years old.
Recognizing Dating Violence: Things to Look For
If you have a teen who is dating, be alert for signs of abuse, both physical and emotional. Outward signs include:
- Having bruises and injuries.
- Changing the way she looks or dresses.
- Dropping old friends.
- Giving up things she cares about.
New friends as well as changes in attitudes, styles, hobbies, and school activities are common in young people. Still, they can be clues that a teen is being controlled by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Emotional abuse is harder to recognize than physical abuse since it happens over time and can take several forms, including:
- Put downs
- Attempts to control a partner’s dress, activities, and friendships
A young person who suffers emotional abuse may become insecure, destructive, angry, or withdrawn. He also may abuse alcohol or drugs.
Know Your Teen's Rights at School!
Four of five students — boys and girls — report that they have experienced some type of sexual harassment in school.
• 83% of girls and 79% of boys report having ever experienced harassment.
• For many students sexual harassment is an ongoing experience: over 1 in 4 students experience it "often."
• These numbers do not differ by whether the school is urban or suburban or rural.
• 76% of students have experienced non-physical harassment while 58% have experienced physical harassment.
• Non-physical harassment includes taunting, rumors, graffiti, jokes or gestures.
Source: American Association of University Women Educational Foundation
Title IX offers your teen protection against sexual harassment in school.
To learn more, click here: What are my teen’s rights at school regarding sexual harassment?
New Legislation Protecting Your Teen!
- On May 18, 2007, HB 121 was signed into law by the Governor of Texas. HB 121 says that every school district in Texas must adopt and implement a dating violence policy.
- To learn about HB 121 and School Dating Violence Policies, click here: What are my teen’s rights at school regarding dating violence?
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10 Questions - Talking to your teen about abuse- A pamphlet that will help you start a conversation with your teen. Includes stories of other parents whom have addressed the issue of Teen Dating Violence.
A Practical Guide To Discussing Relationship Abuse- This booklet defines what a abusive relationship is, it gives you warning signs and also gives you an inside look on what you should do if you are experiencing abuse in your relationship.