According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 1 in 11 female and 1 in 14 male high school students reported having experienced physical dating violence in the past year. In addition, 1 in 3 high school students will experience physical, emotional, or sexual abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults. Help raise awareness of dating violence and abuse during the month of February, by learning more about this topic and how you can help others who might be in an abusive relationship.
Topics like dating abuse and unhealthy relationships can be difficult to talk about, but it is important to have an authentic conversation with your teen or young adult to discuss the warning signs of abuse or violence. It can take place in person, online, or through technology and can include the following types of behavior:
- Isolation from friends or family (physically, financially or emotionally)
- Extreme jealousy or insecurity
- Physical violence such as hitting or kicking
- Possessiveness or controlling behavior
- Frequently putting you down, especially in front of others
- Sexual violence such as unwanted kissing, touching, or forced sexual activity
- Explosive outbursts, temper or mood swings
- Checking your phone, email or social media accounts without your permission
- The use of verbal and non-verbal communication such as namecalling, insults, or threats, with the intent to harm you mentally or emotionally
For more information about recognizing signs of abuse, please visit https://ncadv.org/signs-ofabuse.
Adults play a pivotal role in modeling healthy relationship behavior and The National Domestic Violence Hotline established the initiative, love is respect, to provide confidential education and support for teens, young adults, and their loved ones seeking help, resources, or information related to healthy relationships and dating abuse in the US. All of their resources are free and confidential.