Teen Counseling Program
Sources: cdc.gov; vawnet.org; Virginia Department of Health
Research indicates that dating violence is a serious problem in our country for men and women in both straight and gay relationships. Among high school students, in particular, studies have shown rates of physical dating violence to be anywhere between 9% and 57%. Unfortunately, teenagers may have difficulty recognizing signs of dating violence, and the abuse often goes unreported. Abusive relationships can have short and long term negative effects on the developing teen. Victims of teen dating violence are more likely to do poorly in school, engage in binge drinking, and attempt suicide. Victims may also carry the patterns of violence into future relationships. It is therefore crucial to recognize different types of abuse and know how to respond if confronted with dating violence.
Abusive relationships can involve physical, sexual, and psychological or emotional violence. Physical abuse is any physically forceful contact with another person, such as pushing, hitting, or biting. Sexual violence is any unwanted touching, using someone for sex, or pressuring someone to do something he or she does not want to. Signs of psychological or emotional abuse include verbal insults, criticism, behaviors such as jealousy and isolation, and threats and intimidation. If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, consider talking to someone you trust, seeking medical attention, or creating a safety plan that outlines safe places, people, and professional resources. For those who may be concerned a loved one is being abused, let them know that you care, listen without judging, and encourage them to get help.
Shelter for Help in Emergency Hotline
Sexual Assault and Resource Agency Hotline
Family Violence and Sexual Assault Virginia Hotline