Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dating Violence

Teenagers often experience violence in dating relationships. I have many questions from teens about dating violence as Prom time and graduation approach. Perhaps that is because the couple will not be seeing each other as often with the end of the school year and one or the other is going on vacation or off to college.

Statistics show that one in three teenagers have experienced violence in a dating relationship. In dating violence, one partner tries to maintain power and control over the other through abuse. Dating violence crosses all racial, economic and social lines. Most victims are young women, who are also at greater risk for serious injury. Men also are battered or verbally abused by their female partners.

Women (of any age) may feel they are responsible for solving problems in their relationships. They may think their boyfriend's jealousy, possessiveness and even physical abuse, is "romantic." They may also think abuse is "normal" because their friends are also being abused. They may feel there is no one to ask for help.

Men (of any age) may believe they have the right to "control" their female partners in any way necessary. They may believe "masculinity" is physical aggressiveness. They may feel they “own” their partner and should demand intimacy. They may also feel they will lose respect if they are attentive and supportive toward their girlfriends.

More important is that males believe “nice guys finish last” and unfortunately, it is often true.

Remember: Drugs and alcohol impair your instincts and reactions.

Trust your instincts. If a situation makes you uncomfortable, try to be calm and think of a way to remove yourself from the situation. Next time we will look at how to make dating safe for both parties.

Until next time,

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