11 warning signs of relationship abuse
Dating violence, relationship abuse and sexual assault are national epidemics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in three young people report experiencing some form of abuse in their dating relationships. More than one in four women experience some form of domestic violence, and one in five women will be victims of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.
During the Grammy Awards broadcast on Feb. 8, President Barack Obama called attention to these statistics. “It’s not OK,” he said, “and it has to stop.”
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. Community and national organizations are educating young people on what healthy relationships look like and the importance of reaching out if dating violence occurs. Learn to recognize these red flags of abusive dating relationships:
- Checking someone’s cellphones, emails or social networks without permission
- Extreme jealousy or insecurity
- Constant belittling or put-downs
- Explosive temper
- Isolation someone from family and friends
- Making false accusations
- Erratic mood swings
- Physically inflicting pain or hurt in any way
- Telling someone what to do
- Repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex
According to BreakTheCycle.org, teen victims of dating violence are more likely to not pay attention in school, be exposed to drugs and alcohol, have feelings of isolation, become pregnant or experience sexual assault.
Dating violence does not discriminate — it can happen in a relationship that is serious or casual, monogamous or polygamous, short-term or long-term, gay or straight.
Help bring an end to teen dating violence by recognizing the signs, educating teens you know and intervening to protect the ones you love.
As President Obama said, “It’s on us, all of us, to create a culture where violence isn’t tolerated, where survivors are supported and where all our young people — men and women — can go as far as their talents and their dreams will take them.”