Teen victims are at a higher risk for substance abuse, getting poor results in school, eating disorders and even attempts of suicide. Additionally, teens who are abused by their partners are more likely to be victimized in future relationships. Types of abuse include electronic, emotional, physical and sexual.
Awareness is a main factor in prevention. If you are a friend or family member of a teen, encourage him or her to be open about relationships and dating. Make sure he or she knows the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. Teens cannot be allowed to think that violence is normal.
Learn the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. Teens cannot be allowed to think that violence is normal.
In addition, pay attention to signs of abuse. Teen victims of abuse may act depressed or fearful, become isolated from friends and family or develop unexplained injuries. Perpetrators may exhibit traits that lead them to be violent, such as moodiness, anger management issues, lack of parental supervision and use of alcohol or drugs.
If you know a teen that is being victimized by dating violence, encourage him or her to get help. LoveisRespect.org offers a 24-hour support line for questions and help regarding teen dating violence.
There are many opportunities for you take action in preventing teen dating violence this month. Learn more at TeenDVmonth.org.
Julie Nauman is the Executive Officer for the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB). VCGCB provides compensation for victims of violent crime and helps to resolve claims against the State.