Dating violence often starts with teasing and name calling.These behaviors are often thought to be a “normal” part of a relationship.
In fact, less than 10% of teen victims report seeking help. Kids are being abused, resources are available, but the link between the two is missing. What follows are some myths about teen dating violence that may prevent youth from seeking help, or receiving help when they do reach out.
Myth: If a person stays in an abusive relationship, it must not really be that bad. Almost 80% of girls who have been physically abused will continue to date their abusers. These include fear, emotional dependence, low self-esteem, feeling responsible, confusing jealousy and possessiveness with love, threats of more violence, or hope that the abuser will change.
But these behaviors can lead to more serious violence like physical assault and rape.
These behaviors include psychological, social, and emotional abuse, as well as physical and sexual violence.
Definitions We use the phrase “teen dating violence” (TDV) because that is the language generally used by advocates and the public health community to describe abusive and controlling behaviors in adolescent relationships.
We use the term for the sake of consistency in sharing common language, but there are few important points to be made about this phrase…
It’s important to note that we are down on abusive relationships, not on all relationships.
We understand that relationships for adolescents fulfill many of the same roles that adult relationships fulfill—conferring social connections and status, friendship, and affection.
The goal of the abuser is to establish power over, and control of, the other person.