Did You Know: February

Did you know that February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month?
By: Steven Beyer, MA

Teen Dating Violence is a pattern of destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner. While this is a serious problem it all too frequently goes unreported.

Common warning signs of dating violence are:

  • Checking cell phone or email without permission, demeaning comments, extreme jealousy, controlling behavior, possessiveness, explosive temper, making false accusations, physically violence and limiting independence.
  • Teens experience a higher rate of intimate partner violence than adults.
  • Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
  • Almost 1 in 5 high school students report being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.
  • Girls and young women between 16 and 24 experience a rate of intimate partner violence that is three times the national average.
  • Unfortunately, only one in three teens in a violent relationship reports the abuse to anyone.
  • Additionally, 81 percent of parents believe dating violence is not an issue, or admit they do not know if it is an issue.
  • 54 percent of parents admit that they have not spoken to their children about dating violence.
  • Dating violence during adolescence increases the victims risk for future eating disorders, substance abuse, risky sexual behavior, domestic violence and suicide.
  • If a pattern of intimate partner violence is established during adolescence the severity of violence has been shown to increase with time and carry into adult relationships.

Awareness of the extent and severity or teen dating violence is necessary to reduce the long lasting effects of intimate partner violence and to break the cycles of abuse. Additional information on teen dating violence can be found at:

Steven Beyer, MA, is a fourth year doctoral student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Akron.  He is also the Continuing Education Chair for the Ohio Psychological Association of Graduate Students.

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