Teen Dating Violence: What the 2/3’s Can Do!
Representative Mark Green said, “If the numbers we see in domestic violence were applied to terrorism or gang violence, the entire country would be up in arms, and it would be the lead story on the news every night.” Domestic violence has spilled into the young adult world and the numbers are staggering. Teen dating violence is an issue nationwide and affects nearly 1.5 million high school students every year. 1 in 3 adolescents will experience dating violence, that statistic is far too high.
To help combat teen dating violence it is vital that we are able to help a friend in need in an effective manner. 1 in 3 adolescents will experience violence, but that leaves 2 out of 3 adolescents to be supporters. If you find yourself supporting a friend or family member remember these following guidelines to help your loved one.
•Don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend who you think needs help. Tell them you’re concerned for their safety and want to help.
•Be supportive and listen patiently. Acknowledge their feelings and be respectful of their decisions.
•Help your friend recognize that the abuse is not “normal” and is NOT their fault. Everyone deserves a healthy, non-violent relationship.
•Focus on your friend or family member, not the abusive partner. Even if your loved one stays with their partner, it’s important they still feel comfortable talking to you about it.
•Connect your friend to resources in their community that can give them information and guidance. Remember, loveisrespect.org can help.
•Even when you feel like there’s nothing you can do, don’t forget that by being supportive and caring — you’re already doing a lot.
Remember to be supportive and non-judgmental when helping your loved one through their abusive relationship. Together we can stop teen dating violence.
Written By: Erin Sass