I hired a couple of teens and teenagers to weed my garden and overheard two teenagers discussing about teenage dating violence,the girl expressed in clear terms she doesn’t want a boyfriend who would hit her at any slight provocation,while the other teenager boy retorted he hates the idea of hitting a girl he loves .
A day after, I engaged the teenage girl in conversations surrounding dating violence and she opened up to share it was a common practice her school,boys hit girls who chest on them with other boys or didn’t comply with instructions from the boy. She has witnessed her friend’s boyfriend slap her for talking back at him. I asked why the girls condone such behaviours,she said the girls see been hit or slapped as a symbol of love ,they are deeply emotionally attached,and they can’t divulge to their parents that they have a boyfriend,talk less of experiencing domestic Violence. Most importantly they don’t want to end the relationship because there are monetary benefits.
WHAT IS TEEN DATING VIOLENCE
According to Wikipedia teen dating violence is the physical,sexual, psychological and emotional abuse within a dating relationship among Adolescents.
TYPES OF DATING VIOLENCE
Physical Violence which entails hitting, slapping,kicking,shaking,choking,banging on they .wall, shoving aside,use of object or weapons on a partner.
Sexual Abuse and Harassment involves sexual activities or behaviours without consent which makes the other partner uncomfortable, embarrassed,irritable or feeling threatened.
Emotional or Verbal Abuse is an attempt to verbally ridicule,minimize,shame ,embarrass,ones partner which involves name calling,mocking,,public criticism,making fun off and blaming the victim.
Stalking is another act of dating violence because it entails repeatedly watching,following,monitoring ,and harassing . It’s a scary and alarming behaviour.
Financial abuse is basically a situation where a boy or a girl controls the partners mone partners’s money how it’s been spent,spent and on what.
Digital Abuse is simply using technology to bully, stalking , threatening or intimidating such as using sexting , cyber bullying, checking messages, these are all abuse and unhealthy behaviours in relationships.
WARNING SIGNS OF DATING VIOLENCE
1- Using insults, intimidation or humiliation .
2-Extreme jealousy or controlling behaviour .
3- Isolation from friends and family .
4-Unwanted sexual contact of any kind.
5-Explosive temper or unusual moodiness.
6- Consistently mornitoring on social media, activities or locations.
7- Invasion of privacy,showing up unannounced.
8- Leaving unwanted items.
9-Abusing Alcohol and drugs.
10- Threatening or causing physical violence.
EFFECT OF TEEN DATING
a- Do poorly in school or not attend at all.
b- Addicted to drugs , alcohol,engage in unhealthy eating behaviour, diet pills, vomiting to lose weight.
c- Become pregnant or contract STD.
e- Depression and suicide.
f- Develop negative body image or uncomfortable with their sexuality.
g- Overly dependent on others.
h- Violent behaviour.
i- Mood disorders.
j- Body injuries from Violence
I – Anxiety and panic attack.
PREVENTION OF DATING VIOLENCE
According to a 2017 meta statistics of teens ages 13-18,around 14% of girls have experienced sexual dating violence compared to 8% of boys. Over 1 in 5 Adolescents have experienced physical dating violence sometimes in his lives shockingly this is kept secret away from families and Friends. To prevent teen dating violence parents and the schol authority must understand and help prevent dating violence,here are a couple of things to do……
Recognize signs of teen dating violence which includes, physical bruises, online and offline bullying, display of jealousy, controlling behaviours,any of these in a dating scenario is wrong.
Talk about healthy relationship entails, for for example: A good relationship understand and respects each other’s feelings ,respects boundaries,not controlling,can handle rejection easily,both are generous to each other and it’s not a one sided affair.
Talk about the power of assertiveness,it’s important to equip teenagers with the ability to be able to speak up,say how they feel, opinions and desires,empower them to say no and insist on your “no is your no”. There is nothing wrong in saying,”you re ride and disrespectful and I won’t condone it. Teach them to speak up.
Create a “No secret policy tradition ” where teens understand that abuse thrives in secrecy. Make sure to tell them that any relationship that usually is secretive contain alot of hurtful behaviour that’s detrimental to mental health. Let them understand that it is not emotionally healthy to keep matters to oneself ,that a shared problem is half solved.
Parents and School officers should know when to get involve anytime there is a change of behaviour,change in mood , sleep,eating pattern,reduction in school grades,aloness or fewer friends,often these changes are signs something is wrong. The most effective way to get your son or daughter out of an abusive relationship is to handle it with a team of people including you as the parent,the school and a professional and even some times the police.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:Contact boyslivesmatter Foundation by reaching them on their email- email@example.com