One-in-three teens in the United States will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse from someone they’re in a relationship with before adulthood, according to Love Is Respect.
Unhealthy relationships can have severe consequences on the mental health of a developing teen. Teens experiencing dating violence are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, and engage in substance abuse.
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell when a relationship is abusive. Some warning signs can include:
- Checking your phone without permission
- Putting you down frequently
- Isolating you from family or friends
- Extreme jealousy or insecurity
- Explosive outbursts
- Any form of physical harm
- Possessiveness or controlling behavior
- Pressuring or forcing you to have sex
Dating abuse is about power and control over another person. If you have been abused, it is not your fault, but it’s crucial to understand that your abuser is unlikely to change their behavior.
Your personal safety is your most important priority. If you need confidential support, the Love Is Respect hotline is available 24/7 at 1-866-331-9474. You can also contact the Rape, Abuse and Incest’s National Network’s National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673).
Learn to spot warning signs so you can stop dating abuse before it starts.
Dating violence is dangerous.
Sometimes, victims may have no other choice than to resort to self-defense. OKCIC periodically hosts self-defense classes for women ages 16 and older who are both patients and non-patients. For more information about the next self-defense class, please visit www.okcic.com.