24 teens are domestically or physically abused every minute, on average according to thehotline.org, the national domestic violence hotline. Domestic violence can begin with something as simple as name calling and can consist of many different things. There are warning signs to domestic violence as well as reasons people stay in abusive relationships. Experts say that there are risk factors that increase the likelihood of domestic violence in relationships involving young adults and that there is a lack of awareness on the topic of domestic violence amongst young adults.
Teen dating violence “is defined as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional aggression within a dating relationship, including stalking. It can occur in person or electronically and might occur between a current or former dating partner” according to the CDC. Teen dating violence is a narrow term used to describe domestic abuse among teens but also has terms that are more broad. A few of these are domestic violence, relationship abuse, and intimate partner violence. Most adolescents learn abuse from behaviors examined in their own household when growing up or from seeing it in a friends relationship or household and this affects the severity of the violence according to the CDC. Violence in relationships among teenagers can have long-term as well as short-term effects. Exposure to violence in a relationship can lead to higher risk for eating disorder and substance abuse and also makes it more likely that the person experiencing violence will be in another abusive relationship going into the future.
It is statistically more likely for a female to be physically or sexually abused compared to a male although many experts believe this is due to males not reporting that they have been abused in a relationship. However, this goes both ways because most teens are scared or afraid to mention anything to family or friends because they are afraid of how their family might view them afterwards. According to loveisrespect.com “Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year”. It is important that we focus on abuse across the board but even more so in young adults as their brains are still developing along with them developing emotionally. The CDC stated that “Teens receive messages about how to behave in relationships from peers, adults, and the media. All too often these examples suggest that violence in a relationship is normal, but violence is never acceptable” they also provided a list of risk factors on their website including “The risk of having unhealthy relationships increases for teens who:
Believe that dating violence is acceptable
Are depressed, anxious, or have other symptoms of trauma
Display aggression towards peers or display other aggressive behaviors
Use drugs or illegal substances
Engage in early sexual activity and have multiple sexual partners
Have a friend involved in teen dating violence
Have conflicts with a partner
Witness or experience violence in the home”
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