TEEN DATING VIOLENCE. INFORMATION AND PREVENTION. April 2009. Training Objectives. Recognize what dating violence is Identify types of dating violence Recognize the signs that a teen is in a violent dating relationship
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TEEN DATING VIOLENCE INFORMATION AND PREVENTION April 2009
Training Objectives • Recognize what dating violence is • Identify types of dating violence • Recognize the signs that a teen is in a violent dating relationship • Identify ways teens handle violent dating relationships and why they stay in these relationships • Recognize ways teens can protect themselves • Identify ways parents and adults can help teens involved in violent relationships
What is Dating Violence? • According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, teen dating violence: • Is abusive and violent behavior in teen dating relationships • Reflects the perpetrator’s desire to control and dominate the victim • Covers a wide range of behavior that includes verbal and emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
Types of Teen Dating Violence • Emotional or Psychological Abuse is one type of Dating Violence. According to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, emotional abuse involves humiliation, insults and swearing. Other examples include attempting to control a boyfriend or girlfriend’s activities, isolating the person from their family and friends, or trying to destroy their self-esteem.
Verbal Abuse is another type of Dating Violence. The National Center for Victims of Crime lists name-calling, threats, screaming, yelling, ridiculing and criticizing as examples of verbal abuse. Verbal abuse can also include threats directed towards a boyfriend or girlfriend, or towards their family.
Physical Abuse is another type of Dating Violence. Physical abuse can include hitting, slapping, shoving, pushing, punching, kicking, biting, pinching, hair pulling and choking. It can also include use of a weapon, such as a knife, bat, club or gun.
Sexual Abuse is the fourth type of Dating Violence. According to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, sexual violence occurs when there is forced or unwanted sexual activity or rape. It is also considered sexual abuse to coerce or pressure someone to have sex or try to engage in sexual activity with someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
How Often Does Teen Dating Violence Occur? • According to Missouri Families.org, several studies have shown that 20-30% of teens have experienced physical or sexual violence in a dating relationship. Relationships that include verbal or emotional abuse are often found to have higher percentages.
Signs A Teen Is In A Violent Dating Relationship • According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, one survey found that over 40% of male and female high school students said they had been victims of dating violence at least once. • 15% of teen girls and boys reported they had been victims of severe dating violence (being hit, kicked, thrown down or attacked with a weapon) in the past year.
According to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, these are some warning signs a teen is in a violent relationship: • A boyfriend or girlfriend may apply pressure, soon after dating begins, to make the relationship very serious or pressures their girlfriend/boyfriend to have sex.
A girlfriend or boyfriend becomes extremely jealous and possessive, and thinks these destructive displays of emotion are signs of love. • A boyfriend or girlfriend tries to control their dating partner and to forcefully make all decisions where the two are concerned, refusing to take the other person’s views or desires seriously.
A boyfriend or girlfriend verbally abuses their dating partner by yelling, swearing, manipulating, spreading false and degrading rumors, and trying to make the other person feel guilty. • A boyfriend or girlfriend may drink too much or use drugs, and then later blames the alcohol and drugs on the behavior of their dating partner.
A boyfriend or girlfriend may try to keep their dating partner from spending time with family and friends. • A boyfriend or girlfriend may threaten physical violence.
Ways Teens Handle Violent Dating Relationships • According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, there are a number of ways victims handle dating violence. Below are a list of some of the individual responses teens may have: • Anxiety - may have anxiety about what will happen to them • Confusion • Shame
Depression • Denial - some teens will deny or minimize the violence • Defense of the abuser • Fear of being seriously hurt or becoming pregnant • Low Self-Esteem - may feel they don’t deserve to be treated well
Why Do Teens Stay In Abusive Relationships? • According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, there are many reasons teens stay in abusive relationships. These include: • Emotional attachment and feeling they are in love with the other person. • Fear that the abuser will hurt, harm or kill them, if they leave.
Lack of experience in healthy relationships. • Social pressure to have and to keep a boyfriend/girlfriend. • Feelings of low self-esteem and a lack of confidence. • Isolation or alienation from friends and family.
Disclosing Abuse • Many times teens in violent relationships will not disclose the abuse. They try to hide their relationship from parents and friends. According to Missouri Families.org, there are many barriers that prevent teens from seeking help. These include: • Fear that peers will lose respect for them.
Fear of telling an adult. Teens may fear telling a school counselor or teacher, because they are required to report abuse of minors and may notify the teen’s parents. Teens are afraid of telling their parents about the abuse, because the violence may have occurred while they were doing something they are not allowed to do.
Fear of retaliation. Teens may fear their abuser will retaliate if they tell of the abuse. There are times when a teen can be at risk of harm or danger when they try to leave an abusive relationship. • Some teens have an emotional attachment to their abuser and don’t want to leave the relationship.
Guidelines to Keep Teens Safe • According to the National Crime Prevention Council, there are things teens can do when they want out of an abusive relationship. The following are suggestions for teens in these violent situations: • Teens need to know they’re not alone. Teens from across the country have been involved in abusive relationships.
Teens need to know that the longer they stay in an abusive relationship, the more intense the violence will become. • Teens should talk with parents, a friend, counselor, faith leader or someone else they trust. The more isolated they are from others, the more control the abuser will have over them.
Teens should keep a daily log of the abuse for evidence. • Teens should not be meeting their abuser alone. They should not let their abuser be in their home or car, when they are alone. • Teens should always tell someone where they are going and when they plan on being back.
How Can Parents Help Their Teens • According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, the following guidelines include tips for parents who want to help their teens who are in abusive relationships: • Parents should be encouraged if their teen confides in them. • Parents should be comforting and supportive.
Parents should control their emotions. It will be normal to feel shock, anxious or angry, but a negative reaction can frighten your teen. • Parents should educate themselves about teen dating violence. • Parents should understand that the abuser exerts control and power over the victim. It may be hard for the teen to leave the relationship.
Parents need to understand that teens do not often tell their parents of the abuse due to the fear that parents will question their judgment, try to take charge, or take away privileges or independence. • Parents can help their teens explore their options and reach their own decisions. It is important to know your state laws, civil law and what orders of protection are.
Parents should help their teen recognize their strengths. • Teens should be reminded that they are not responsible for the abuse. • Parents should help their teen come up with a safety plan and discuss how they can stay safer.
For More Information, Visit These Additional Websites • Missouri Families.org, http://missourifamilies.org/features/divorcearticles/relations59.htm • A Parent’s Guide to Teen Dating Violence from Liz Claiborne, Inc., http://www.loveisnotabuse.com/handbooks_teendating.htm • National Crime Prevention Council, www.ncpc.org
The National Center for Victims of Crime, http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/main.aspx?dbName=DocumentViewer&DocumentAction=ViewProperties&DocumentID=32370&UrlToReturn=http%3a%2f%2fwww.ncvc.org%2fncvc%2fmain.aspx%3fdbName%3dAdvancedSearch • National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, http://www.safeyouth.org/scripts/topics/dateviolence.asp
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, www.dhss.mo.gov/ViolenceAgainstWomen/
Missouri Department of Social Services State Technical Assistance Team Address: PO Box 208Jefferson City, MO 65102-0208 Telephone: (573) 751-5980(800) 487-1626(8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST, Monday – Friday) Email: email@example.com