Teen Dating & Children

Facts of dating violence: 

  • Violent relationships, according to one study, begin when teens are about 15-years-old and become involved in serious relationships.
  • A survey indicates that attitudes like, "He wouldn't hit me if he didn't love me," frequently operate in violent relationships among teenagers. Nearly 30 percent of those responding to this survey equated abuse with love.
  • Teenagers who have been abused as children are more likely to become involved in an abusive dating relationship.
  • Teenagers in abusive dating relationships rarely seek help. Approximately five percent of teens who are battered by their dating partners call the police.
  • Studies show a relationship between rigid identification with traditional sex roles (i.e. men should be strong, aggressive and in control; women should be submissive and dependent) and involvement in a violent relationship.

Warning Signs of dating violence: 

  •  Unexplained bruises.
  •  Moodiness, withdrawn or depression.
  •  Stopped seeing friends or has given up favorite activities.
  •  Their boyfriend/girlfriend uses alcohol or drugs.
  •  Fallen behind in school.
  •  Suddenly hostile and secretive.
  •  Their boyfriend/girlfriend is possessive and jealous of others, friends and family.
  •  Their boyfriend/girlfriend keeps tabs on them.
  •  They seem afraid of their boyfriend/girlfriend and they fear breaking up with them.

What can you do if someone you care about is in an abusive relationship? 

  • You can call our 24 hour hotline at 970-247-9619 to talk to an advocate 
  • LOVES (Listen, Options, Value, Empower, Safety)

  • Listen- to their story, try to be understanding and non-judgemental
  • Options- Give them resources such as our 24 hour hotline at 970-247-9619, talk to a trusted adult like a school counselor, teacher or coach. In a dangerous situation contact law enforcement at 911.  For advocacy, therapy and support through AH call 970-247-4374.
  • Value- Tell them how much you care about them.  Tell them "Its not your fault," or "You don't deserve this," or "You deserve to have Respect/Communication/Trust in your relationship."
  • Empower- Let them make their own decisions, be there to support them or go with them to talk to an adult, give them their options but don't tell them what to do.
  • Safety- Think about safety for yourself as well as for them.  Don't put yourself in the middle especially if their abuser might try and harm you.  Talk to an advocate about how to keep them safe, and safety plans.  If a protection order is needed call our 24 hour hotline at 970-247-9619.