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How to Help Teens Dealing with Dating Violence

Dating abuse is a serious health concern for many students:

  • One in three high school students will be involved in an abusive relationship.
  • Forty-five percent of teenage girls ages 14 to 17 say they know someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.
  • Nearly 80% of girls who have been physically abused in their intimate relationships continue to date their abuser.
  • Both girls and boys can be abused by a dating partner and both girls and boys can be abusers.
You Can Help
Educators, advocates and parents can learn more about how to help teens address dating violence:
  • Educators: Dating violence has a particularly damaging effect on schools, students and the learning environment.
  • Advocates & community service providers: You can play an important role in educating teens about dating violence.
  • Parents: If you suspect dating violence, your son or daughter needs your support.
Understanding Barriers to Getting Help

Teens who are in an abusive relationship may have a difficult time getting help for the following reasons:

  • fear of hurting their dating partner's feelings
  • fear that the friend who they confide in will tell them to end the relationship
  • fear of losing independence from one's parents
  • fear of getting into trouble with one's parents
  • fear that people will not understand, will blame them, or won't believe what's happened
  • not knowing how or where to get help
  • fear of retaliation from the abusive dating partner
  • not knowing how to leave or improve the situation
  • embarrassment
  • fear of being judged
  • not trusting that what is said will be kept confidential
  • not wanting to admit that it's a real problem

Finding Helpful Resources

There are many resources available for getting help for a teen who is in an abusive relationship. These resources can be found both locally and nationally.

 

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