What is teen dating violence?
Did you know that according to the FWISD Student Code of Conduct, dating violence is the intentional use of physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse by a person to harm, threaten, intimidate, or control another person in a dating relationship, as defined by Section 71.0021, Family Code?
Quick Facts on Teen Dating Violence?
- Both girls and boys are victims of abuse
- Both girls and boys are perpetrators of abuse
- Abuse almost always reoccurs in a relationship.
- Most abuse gets more severe with time.
- Between 10 and 38% of high school students have been victims of dating violence.
- Among students who are currently dating, as many as 59% have experienced physical violence, and 96% have experienced psychological or emotional abuse.
- Adults who use violence with their dating partners often being doing so during adolescence, with the first episode typically occurring by age 15.
Characteristics or signs of the behaviors:
- Physical abuse – hitting, pinching, shaking, choking, shoving, pushing, biting, spitting, pulling hair, threatening, throwing things.
- Psychological/Emotional abuse – ignoring your feelings, insulting your beliefs or values, calling you names, isolating, displaying inappropriate anger, scaring you/driving recklessly, keeping you from leaving, putting down your family/friends, humiliating you in public/private, and threatening to hurt oneself.
- Sexual abuse – forcing a date to have sex, forcing a date to do other sexual things he or she doesn’t want to do.
Includes any behavior by a dating partner that is used to manipulate, gain control, gain power over someone, makes a person feel bad about self or others, makes a person afraid of her/his boyfriend/girlfriend.
Guidelines for helping people who are being abused:
- Believe your friend’s story.
- Make sure they are safe.
- Let them know that they don’t deserve to be abused.
- Ask them lots of questions to get them to think about the problem.
- Ask them what their options are and what they can do. (Stay, leave, talk to partner, get advice)
- Let them know that abuse almost always gets worse in a relationship if it’s ignored. If the abuse is to stop, the person being abused has to be willing to take actions to end it.
- Encourage them to seek help. (See community resources below)
- Call 911 in an emergency
- Counselors, Interventionist, Principal, or Teacher
- Women’s Center Crisis Hotline: 817-927-2737
- Safe Haven: 877-701-7233
- National Teen Dating Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
During the month of February, campuses will highlight this topic with information to staff, students and parents. Check out our implementation guide for prevention ideas.