An increasing number of teenage girls are being controlled or abused by their boyfriends by the time they graduate from high school. Although it is not unheard of for teenage boys to be victims of abusive relationships, abused by their girlfriends, it is much more common for the boys to be abusing the girls. Statistics show that 1 out of 3 teenagers have experienced violence in a dating relationship, proving the need for information on the “signs of an abusive relationship“, “how to know if your relationship is Toxic”, and tips on “leaving an abusive relationship“.
Most cases involve one partner trying to maintain power and control over the other through various forms of abuse. I can’t even imagine what I would do if I learned one of my children were being mistreated this way by someone claiming to love them. I’m afraid the “mother bear” in me would take over any sense of rational thought, leading me to go straight for the jugular of the person doing harm to my child.
Teen dating violence or abuse is often kept secret and hidden because teenagers are inexperienced, seeking independence from their parents, and they are often pressured by peers to begin dating at an early age. Some young men (boys) even believe they have the right to “control” women out of fear that they will lose “respect” amongst their own peers for being attentive and supportive towards their girlfriends.
Love doesn’t hurt-it’s not a feeling either. Actions speak louder than words. It’s what he does in action, not based on what he says, that shows his true love for you. Love is not the way you think he feels about you, or how you want him to feel about you. True love is an empowering experience, where you don’t feel afraid or sad…you feel great!
Love also doesn’t happen immediately, or even within a few short weeks. Young people can often be heard expressing their “love” for their boyfriend/girlfriend within a matter of days after they begin dating. It takes time to get to know someone, to really get to know them; to learn about their likes, dislikes, personality flaws, quirks, ideals, goals, to determine if who they are really fits who you are in order to blend into a happy, meaningful, and most importantly, loving relationship.
Teen dating violence statistics-
Photo by: Lin Pernille
If you think that his abusive tendencies (whether physical, mental or emotional) means he really loves you, you would be wrong and statistics prove that beyond a shadow of a doubt. If your boyfriend or partner is abusive to you now, even if not physically violent yet, more often than not it will only get worse until one day he seriously injures you or kills you. It’s that serious.
You may think that because you have friends that are being controlled or abused, that this is “normal” relationship behavior or you think you can change him. Think again. You may think that because he has not physically hurt you or hit you, that you are not being abused. It is important to understand, to really “get it”, that emotional abuse or control is often the first signs of an abusive relationship yet to come.
Emotional abuse almost always escalates and becomes a physical form of abuse, making it even more vital to learn now what the signs of an abusive relationship are, so you can take necessary steps to get out of the abusive relationship. It always involves control – one partner controlling the actions of another. If this kind of behavior is present in your relationship, you have a potentially dangerous situation that is likely to only get worse as the relationship progresses.
While emotional abuse could easily lead to physical violence, it doesn’t always lead to this. The abuser might decide that he can sufficiently control you with psychological abuse, fear, professions of “love”, apologies (“I promise it will never happen again”), gifts and other manipulations.
Relationship Warning Signs-
How do you know if you are currently in an abusive relationship, whether it be physical, emotional or mental? What warning signs are there for you to evaluate and question yourself truthfully about your relationship and the potential for violence or further abuse? It is never too late to help yourself, by educating yourself as well as your dating teenage children, in relation to dealing with abusive relationships, whether it be teenage or adult relationships. Don’t be a statistic. I know, because I was one at one time in my life. As a parent, I make sure all of my children (sons and daughters) know the signs of an abusive relationship, and how they can and should leave such a relationship. And, that I’m only a phone call away.
Staying Connected to Your Teenager: How to Keep Them Talking to You and How to Hear What They’re Really Saying
“Signs of an Abusive Relationship”