How to protect yourself from dating violence

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Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name-calling, are a “normal” part of a relationship.For example, you might talk to your guidance counselor about hosting an event at your school.The Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month’s website provides free materials to help get your event started.The 2013 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey found approximately 10% of high school students reported physical victimization and 10% reported sexual victimization from a dating partner in the 12 months* before they were surveyed. Teens receive messages about how to behave in relationships from peers, adults in their lives, and the media. Risks of having unhealthy relationships increase for teens who: Dating violence can be prevented when teens, families, organizations, and communities work together to implement effective prevention strategies.All too often these examples suggest that violence in a relationship is normal, but violence is never acceptable. Many organizations are willing to provide a free, safe space, as well as counseling.

The National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women offers more detailed information on dating violence.Unfortunately, the number of teens who suffer from abuse in relationships is not small: nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced physical, emotional, and sexual violence in a relationship during their adolescent years.Many of the contributing factors are preventable, and NIDA needs your help to spread the word and stop the violence. Here are some signs that a partner might have abusive tendencies.The most important thing to remember is that love should never hurt, either physically or emotionally, and that you have the right to feel safe and good about yourself. Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.Teen dating violence can start with teasing and name calling.

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