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I AM in Control.org Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
Dec 25

Teen Dating Violence

Posted By iamincontrol | December 25, 2012


By LeahUnhappy teen couple

Not everyone gets along with their boyfriend or girlfriend all the time, right?  But, it crosses the line when the person you care about breaks you down verbally, emotionally, or physically.  That is dating violence, and like bullying, it hurts.  Teen dating violence is a serious issue that is gaining recognition due to celebrity incidents (Rihanna & Chris Brown) and several prevention campaigns that have been advertised in the media.  Ever heard of loveisrespect.org?  Or breakthecycle.org?  These sites help teens identify warning signs and prevent dating abuse, as well as give you resources to help those that are already experiencing it.  MTV has promoted the “Love is Respect” campaign by advertising the website after any shows containing teen dating violence.  Information about what dating violence is and what help is available has given teens a voice to share their experiences and find solutions and healing.

Teen dating violence includes much more than just physical violence.  With texting and social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) becoming more common ways to communicate, they have also become tools for perpetrators of dating violence.  According to loveisrespect.org, “digital abuse” is happening when your partner…

  • Demands access to your phone or computer
  • Sends unwanted sexts (sexual messages)
  • Threatens you through Facebook or other social media
  • Tracks your whereabouts using technology

Other forms of dating violence include physical abuse, verbal or emotional abuse, or sexual abuse.

All of these behaviors are dangerous and abusive, and you have the right to be free from that.  So what do you do if you find that you or one of your friends is experiencing teen dating violence?  There’s lots of help out there.  Visit any of the sites mentioned above, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for more information about how to get support.  Also check out the resources available in your area by visiting the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence website.

Concerned that you may not be the healthiest partner yourself?  Try taking the “Am I a Good Boyfriend/Girlfriend?  Quiz” to see how you measure up and what you can do if you find yourself using hurtful patterns with your partner.

After all, everyone deserves to live a life free from abuse!

You are in control.