Teen Dating

Facts Of Dating Violence and Abuse: 

  • Abusive relationships, according to one study, begin when teens are about 15 years old and become involved in serious relationships.
  • A survey indicates that beliefs such as, "He wouldn't hit me if he didn't love me," are prevalent 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. Only about 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 (e.g., men should be strong, aggressive and in control; women should be submissive and dependent) and involvement in an abusive relationship.

Warning Signs of Dating Abuse and Violence: 

  •  Unexplained bruises
  •  Moodiness, withdrawal, depression
  •  Not seeing friends, giving up favorite activities
  •  The boyfriend/girlfriend uses alcohol or drugs
  •  Falling behind in school
  •  Suddenly hostile and secretive
  •  The boyfriend/girlfriend is possessive, distrustful and jealous of friends and family
  •  The boyfriend/girlfriend keeps tabs on them
  •  Fearful of the boyfriend/girlfriend, and fear of 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: Listen to the story, try to be understanding and nonjudgmental.
  • Options: Tell them about our confidential 24-hour hotline at 970-247-9619; refer them to our website for more information; and suggest talking with a trusted adult such as 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 for them. Point out that, "It's not your fault," "You don't deserve this," or "You deserve to have respect/communication/trust in your relationship."
  • Empower: Be there to support them or go with them to talk to an adult; suggest options but don't tell them what to do or try to make decisions for them.
  • Safety: Think about your own safety as well as theirs. Don't put yourself in the middle, especially if the abuser might try and harm you. Talk to an AH advocate about how to help someone be safe and think about safety planning. If a protection order is needed, call our 24-hour hotline at 970-247-9619.

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