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Pop Quiz, Oh No; Oh Yes…Teen Dating Violence Facts

February 7, 2011 1 comment



TEEN DATING VIOLENCE FACTS

Do you know how teen dating violence affects teens across the country?

Take this quiz to find out!

Give yourself one point for every question you get right.

1. At what age do females experience the highest amounts of relationship violence?
a. 16-24
b. 25-30
c. 31-35
2. What percentage of tweens (ages 11-14) in relationships know friends who have been verbally abused (called stupid, worthless, ugly, etc.) by a partner?
a. 5%
b. 25%
c. 47%
3. What is the number of teens that have had partners try to prevent them from spending time with friends or family?
a. 1 in 35
b. 1 in 4
c. 1 in 50
4. What percentage of high school students have been physically forced to have sexual intercourse?
a. 2%
b. 15%
c. 8%

5. What percentage of teens in relationships have been sent text messages 10, 20 or 30 times an hour by a partner wanting to know where they are, what they are doing and who they are with?
a. 30%
b. 10%
c. 25%
6. What percentage of teens in relationships have been called names, harassed or put down by their partner through cell phones and texting?
a. 25%
b. 17%
c. 3%
7. Which of these groups is able to deal with teen dating violence better?
a. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer (LGBTQ)
b. Teenage boys
c. Heterosexual (straight) people
d. Teenage girls over 17
e. No one group is better able to overcome teen dating violence.

Answer Key:

1. a. (16-24); 2. c. (47%); 3. b. (1 in 4); 4. c. (8%); 5. a. (30%); 6. a. (25%); 7. e. (no one group is better able to overcome teen dating violence.)
Scoring:

So, did you get all the questions right? Were some of your selections wrong? Well, guess what? It’s not the score that really matters; what’s important is to get the word out. Many people, especially teens, don’t know about teen dating violence. So regardless of whether you got all the questions right or wrong, share this knowledge with your peers.

Check out thesafespace.org to get more information and to find out how you can get involved.

C.M. Rennison and S. Welchans, “BJS Special Report: Intimate Partner Violence,” (Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics,
2000).
Tween/Teen Dating Relationships Survey (2008) TRU, Liz Claiborne Inc.
Teen Dating Abuse Survey 2006 (2006) TRU, Liz Claiborne Inc.
Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (2005). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tech Abuse in Teen Relationships Study (2007). TRU, Liz Claiborne Inc.]
Tech Abuse in Teen Relationships Study (2007). TRU, Liz Claiborne Inc.]

You have the right to a safe and healthy relationship…free from violence and free from fear.
© 2008 Break the Cycle, Updated 3.08

http://www.breakthecycle.org
http://www.thesafespace.org
888.988.TEEN
askanything@breakthecycle.org

 

The Warnings Signs of Digital Dating Abuse

February 5, 2011 Comments off

 

A Mother Turning Her Loss Into Prevention of Dating Violence…

February 4, 2011 2 comments

Siobhan Russell and her mother Lynne Russell shortly before Siobhan was killed.

It has been two years since 19-year-old Siobhan Russell was found brutally stabbed to death by her 17-year-old boyfriend in Oak Hill, Virginia. In 2010, Siobhan’s abuser was arrested and sentenced to 40 years in prison. After living through this horrific event, Siobhan’s mother was determined to do all that she could to prevent other acts of abuse and violence. She now runs an organization to raise awareness about teen dating violence, where she speaks to communities about the warning signs of dating violence. She is an example for us all.

February is National Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month and it is critical that we take this time to remember that domestic violence is not just a problem for adults. One in three adolescents in the US will be a victim of physical, emotional or sexual abuse from a dating partner. Nearly 80% of girls who have been physically abused in their intimate relationships continue to date their abuser. And two-thirds of teens who are in an abusive relationship never tell anyone about the abuse. It’s time to shine a light on this issue.

Recognizing abuse in a relationship can be difficult, especially for teens. There are many types of abuse that young people may believe are normal in a relationship. Even though teen relationships may be different from adult relationships, teens can experience the same types of abuse. Teens also face unique obstacles if they decide to get help. They may not have money, transportation or a safe place to go. They may also concerns about confidentiality with many adults obligated to make reports to police, parents and/or child protective services.

But, teens have a right to safe and healthy relationships. Every community and family should take the lead in raising awareness and preventing teen dating violence. There are many ways that you can take part:

  • Encourage legislators to introduce laws that require teen dating violence education in the classroom. Teens spend the majority of their time in school or at school-related activities and without laws in place to protect them, domestic and sexual violence among teens will continue to cause upheaval at home and at school. Encourage school leaders to step up if legislators will not and offer to pay the often small fees (less than $100) for effective dating violence prevention curricula.
  • Know the laws in your State.
  • Take the time to educate yourself and others about teen dating violence. The following websites offer information about teen dating violence and what you can do to help:

Like Siobhan’s mother, you can make a difference.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Talking About Teen Dating Violence/Abuse…

February 2, 2011 Comments off

The rise of teen dating abuse and violence is rising faster than most expect.

One major trend we have seen is the obsessiveness that young couples can have.  Here are some ideas to be aware of:

1) Low self-esteem causes different behavior

If teenagers, or anyone has low self-esteem it can cause them to be more desperate for connection or control.  Teenagers, developmentally tend to have lower self-esteem as their bodies change.  Low self-esteem can also cause couples to be more jealous and needy of each other, which can be a precursor to abuse.

2) Control can be addictive

I talk to teenagers all day long about what they are anxious about.  Many of them feel very out of control and this scares them.   Teens tend to rarely be in control; rather they are usually being controlled.  They are controlled by parents, teachers, principles, counselors, coaches, colleges and bosses.  What they can control is another teenager and this can over extension of control can be a form of abuse.

3) Control and monitoring is now easier

It is actually easy to smother someone without even realizing it.  We can text, MySpace message, Facebook stalk, call, IM, BBIM, email or ping.  I have often written about teens need to constantly be connected and abuse often stems from people needing to be connected to another more frequently.  Smothering, which might not be abusive, but is abnormal nonetheless, is so much easier in a digital age.

4) Obsessiveness can go unnoticed

Because everyone is connected all the time, teens might not even realize how obsessed or compulsive they are with the other person.  This allows the behavior to continue far longer and at a much higher rate than ever before.

5) Inequality breeds discomfort

This concept is nothing new.  I have heard young couples talk about inequality in relationships.  The idea of “who has the power” is something that teens today are much more aware of.  It is the reason men wait 3 days to call a girl back (need to be the one with the power) and no one wants to say “I love you” first.  This kind of thinking, can lead to abuse or unhealthy relationships.

6) Abuse does not only have to be physical

Abuse can be emotional, verbal, psychological or physical.  This is an important idea to explain to new couples.  Often times, someone in the relationship (see inequality above) feels uncomfortable, but is afraid to say anything because they think it is normal or would not qualify as abuse.

7) Lack of connection means they need more to connect on

The cotton candy friend epidemic is a huge issue because teens are not feeling as connected or intimate with their friends because all of their interaction is so superficial.  This can make young people, who are starving for closeness, crave a smothering or obsessive relationship more than previous generations.

Please print out this blogpost and discuss it with your kids or if your child is in a relationship, ask them to gauge their connection—this can be a great way for you to get to know your teens!

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Florence + The Machine – Kiss With A Fist

December 1, 2010 1 comment

How can others condone any song that trivializes domestic violence?

Florence and the Machine single, Kiss With A Fist was featured on their 2009 Mercury Prize-nominated album, Lungs.  I am not a fan of Florence nor listen to Pop often but this song has resurfaced in our arena and needs a friendly reminder.

Originally, a great deal of confusion surrounded the song’s meaning. With lyrics such as “broke your jaw once before”, “split your blood upon the floor”, “you smashed a plate over my head”, “you gave a kick” and “I gave a slap” – the song was thought by many to be based on domestic violence, which Florence denied.

Florence explained the song’s meaning on her MySpace page:

“Kiss with a Fist” is NOT a song about domestic violence. It is about two people pushing each other to psychological extremes because they are fighting but they still love each other. The song is not about one person being attacked, or any actual physical violence, there are no victims in this song. Sometimes the love two people have for each other is a destructive force. But they can’t have it any other way, because it’s what holds them together, they enjoy the drama and pushing each other’s buttons. The only way to express these extreme emotions is with extreme imagery, all of which is fantasism and nothing in the song is based on reality. Leona Lewis’s “Bleeding Love” isn’t actually about her bleeding and this song isn’t actually about punching someone in the mouth.”

Florence further elaborated on her inspiration behind the song:

“I was 16 or 17 when I wrote this. I’d just fallen in love for the first time, and I’d also started hanging out with an older group of people, watching how their relationships worked. There was this one couple who were so cool, but so visceral and so intense. The guy never hit the girl, but I saw her lamp him a couple of times, and she’d always give as good as she got. But it wasn’t really physical violence, it was more about the fact that their animal passion for each other was the thing that was attractive for them. It was how joyful destruction can be, and how alluring it is to be in a relationship so fiery. There was never a dull moment when they were around. I don’t know how they do it! I’m a conflict avoider. I think I write about such intense things because I’m actually really bad at expressing anger.”

I personally question the song contrary to Florence’s explanations, artists and producers who have promoted the song, “Whatever the meaning, this is an exhilarating debut single” stated by MusicOMH.

It is so sad that so many people DO NOT know all of the types of abuse.  The majority of individuals when asked,  “what is the first thing that pops into their brain when I say the words “domestic violence or dating violence”? They immediately go to the physical aspect of abuse.  The black and blue bruises, the fat lip, the black eye….unfortunately there is so much education that needs to be spread about all forms of abuse.

Ms. Florence needs to be educated about the different forms of abuse as well as the warning signs and red flags.  An individual can be physically abused without even being hit. The continuous abuse in the forms of drama, emotional turmoil, stress, verbal abuse ALWAYS leads to physical abuse (hair loss, weight loss/gain, ulcers, IBS, headaches, acid reflux, etc.), “pushing each other’s buttons” leads to stress and stress takes a toll on one’s body.

How can you state that “it wasn’t really physical violence” when you saw a female “lamp him” when you were a teenager?  The was physical violence.  It’s NOT okay for a female to hit a male or vice versa.  The “animal passion” that you refer to IS DESTRUCTIVE.  It will not stop.  The impulsive behavior will lead to paths of destruction of both either together or in other relationships.

It is imperative to educate our communities and our children as to what is a healthy relationship vs. an unhealthy relationship.  This song is all about domestic violence and dating violence.  Florence’s  inspiration for writing this song is domestic violence even though she thinks/feels differently as to how individuals should treat once another.

It truly amazes me how artists get paid millions for producing such garbage and the fact that they are role models for so many people!  Why would anyone pay anything to listen to a violence-encouraging song?  To name a few artists that are and have benefited are, Rihanna, Girls Gone Bad, Rihanna accepts her fate as a now “bad girl” and uses her former abuses to justify her own future misbehavior; Russian Roulette,the music video featuring her being subjugated by a man with a gun and at one point, run over by his car.  Later in the video she gets shot through the neck while she’s writhing underwater; Rihanna and Eminem (Love The Way You Lie-), the song ends with Rihanna singing the chorus and reaffirming that she not only takes but somehow enjoys the abusive treatment she routinely gets; Sting, Every Breath You Take; The Beatles, Run For Your Life; Metallica, Die, Die My Darling; Eminem, Just The Two of Us and Jarvic Church, Run For Your Life.

A year later this song along with others are still on the air waves blasting on stereos and is extremely disturbing as it sure as hell promotes domestic violence and dating violence.  Some have even made it to the number one spot on the charts!

Singing about withstanding abuse and even coming back for more is not the message we want to be sending teenaged young women who find themselves in similar situations.  Not to mention it isn’t a good message to send to men: treat your women terribly and even the most seemingly gorgeous and successful ones will stick by your side.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Anny

Talking About Teen Dating Violence/Abuse…

February 18, 2010 Comments off

The rise of teen dating abuse and violence is rising faster than most expect.

One major trend we have seen is the obsessiveness that young couples can have.  Here are some ideas to be aware of:

1) Low self-esteem causes different behavior

If teenagers, or anyone has low self-esteem it can cause them to be more desperate for connection or control.  Teenagers, developmentally tend to have lower self-esteem as their bodies change.  Low self-esteem can also cause couples to be more jealous and needy of each other, which can be a precursor to abuse.

2) Control can be addictive

I talk to teenagers all day long about what they are anxious about.  Many of them feel very out of control and this scares them.   Teens tend to rarely be in control; rather they are usually being controlled.  They are controlled by parents, teachers, principles, counselors, coaches, colleges and bosses.  What they can control is another teenager and this can over extension of control can be a form of abuse.

3) Control and monitoring is now easier

It is actually easy to smother someone without even realizing it.  We can text, MySpace message, Facebook stalk, call, IM, BBIM, email or ping.  I have often written about teens need to constantly be connected and abuse often stems from people needing to be connected to another more frequently.  Smothering, which might not be abusive, but is abnormal nonetheless, is so much easier in a digital age.

4) Obsessiveness can go unnoticed

Because everyone is connected all the time, teens might not even realize how obsessed or compulsive they are with the other person.  This allows the behavior to continue far longer and at a much higher rate than ever before.

5) Inequality breeds discomfort

This concept is nothing new.  I have heard young couples talk about inequality in relationships.  The idea of “who has the power” is something that teens today are much more aware of.  It is the reason men wait 3 days to call a girl back (need to be the one with the power) and no one wants to say “I love you” first.  This kind of thinking, can lead to abuse or unhealthy relationships.

6) Abuse does not only have to be physical

Abuse can be emotional, verbal, psychological or physical.  This is an important idea to explain to new couples.  Often times, someone in the relationship (see inequality above) feels uncomfortable, but is afraid to say anything because they think it is normal or would not qualify as abuse.

7) Lack of connection means they need more to connect on

The cotton candy friend epidemic is a huge issue because teens are not feeling as connected or intimate with their friends because all of their interaction is so superficial.  This can make young people, who are starving for closeness, crave a smothering or obsessive relationship more than previous generations.

Please print out this blogpost and discuss it with your kids or if your child is in a relationship, ask them to gauge their connection—this can be a great way for you to get to know your teens!

Take care and STAY SAFE!

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