February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness month. Although teen violence should be recognized on a regular basis, this month is especially focused on educating teens and young adults about the dangers and consequences of being in an abusive relationship. This cause actually began in 2005 by teenagers who wanted to make a difference by helping put an end to teen violence. In 2006, it was finally recognized by Congress and the first full week of February was dedicated to educating and speaking out against teen dating and violence. Many teens who become victims of violent relationships often come from abusive homes and believe that being verbally or physically abused is acceptable behavior. If you are a teen who is reading this article, Abuse is NEVER okay. There is no reason why a person should hit, smack, or degrade you in any manner. This also includes girls abusing guys as well. Parents talk to your teens about the importance of a healthy relationship. Many teens are relationship conscious during February because of Valentines Day. Not many people (teens or adults) like the thought of being alone on a day that is supposed to be dedicated to love. If you feel this way, then you are not alone, AND plenty of teens and adults are single.
Many young adults often question whether or not their current relationship is healthy. A good indication that you may not be in a healthy relationship is if you have to ask someone else if they feel like the person you are with is treating you right. Listen to your conscience and be mindful of the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship. Early signs of an abusive relationship may include the following:
- He/She wants to control everything you do (i.e. where you go, how much you eat, or what you wear).
- Your partner is always calling you degrading names.
- Strong desire to know where you are at all times.
- Isolates you from friends and family.
- Physically hits you.
- Threatens suicide if you leave.
- Threatens to harm you or your family if you leave.
- Charming personality towards other people.
- Harms animals of any kind.
- Suddenly you become scared of the person you are with.
Abuse in any form is NEVER okay. If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, never be afraid to reach out for help. Below is an International Emergency guide to help direct you or someone you love to the right people if there is abuse involved.
- TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH!
- CDC ON WHAT IS TEEN VIOLENCE?
- BREAKING THE CYCLE OF ABUSE!
- STATISTIC ON TEEN VIOLENCE!
- FACTS ABOUT TEEN VIOLENCE!
Written By: Te-Shandra Haskett, MBA
"As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him