Did you know that one in three high school students have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship?(U.S. Department of Justice, 2003)
What is Teen Dating Violence?
Similar to domestic violence, teen dating violence is a repeated pattern of mental, physical, emotional, sexual, or economic abuse where one dating partner makes the other partner feel scared, weak, isolated, hurt, or sad.
However, young adults in abusive relationships face unique barriers to getting the help they need, including:
- A need for independence that makes many teens unwilling to turn to an adult authority figure for help;
- Inexperience with intimate relationships that may make it difficult to assess and identify abusive behavior; and
- An inability to avoid the abuser because they attend the same school or have the same friends.
Between Friends offers services for young adults struggling with teen dating violence.
Below are some characteristics to help you identify a healthy relationship.
A Healthy Relationship:
- Is basically calm, rather than frantic;
- Is a friendship, as well as physical attraction;
- Accepts the need for privacy for both sides;
- Allows for differences of opinion;
- Doesn't force anyone to make a commitment or declare their love before they're ready;
- Allows time for two people to get to know each other and find out how compatible they are;
- Involves two people who already feel good about themselves and who carry those good feelings over into their relationship;
- Won't destroy people if they break up;
- Allows for equal sharing of power and control- neither one dominates or constantly submits; and
- Doesn't make unrealistic demands on either partner.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month! For more information, click here.