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But as the relationship grows, violent patterns like these can emerge and intensify.It doesn’t matter where you live, what you look like, or who you are, dating violence can affect anyone.Maybe you think that this is normal behavior in a relationship or you believe that what is happening is a sign of how much the other person loves you.But teen dating violence (also called intimate relationship violence, intimate partner violence among adolescents or adolescent relationship abuse) is not about love, but power and control.It can occur in person or electronically, which includes texting, social media, and other online applications.In a recent national survey , 8 percent of high school students reported physical violence and 7 percent reported that they experienced sexual violence from a dating partner in the 12 months before the survey.The most important step to take in getting out of an abusive relationship is believing that no one has a right to hurt you or force you to do things you don’t want to do.You have the right to be treated with respect and have your rights acknowledged and accepted. Approximately two thirds of 12 to 18 year olds who are currently in a relationship or had been in one in the past year said they had been victims of teen dating violence.
Teaching healthy relationship skills and changing norms about violence can help prevent teen dating violence.
“These skills include conflict resolution, healthy communication, and social and emotional skills, in addition to recognizing characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships,” Niolon said by email.
“Dating Matters also teaches parents the importance of being health and relationship educators for their kids, and starting conversations about healthy relationships before they start dating.” Young people who participated in the Dating Matters program in the current study didn’t appear any less likely to engage in positive relationship behaviors than middle school students at schools without the program, researchers report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
If you discover your teen is violent or abusive toward their signifcant other, you need to do something about it.
Read this list – and if you feel like you’re out of your depth, pay special attention to #10: Get Professional Help.