Teen Dating Violence


Melanie Orcutt

           One major part of high school is dating. Everyone dreams of the perfect relationship, but do they ever think their dream partner could turn violent?

        One in three teenagers has reportedly experienced a form of dating violence in their life, whether it is emotional or physical. That is an insane number of teenagers. 1.5 million high school students in the past year have reported to be physically abused. This number includes both males and females. One common misconception is that females are always the victims, but in reality that is not true. The difference between the two is the type of abusive behavior. Statistically, women are more likely to verbally abuse their partners, while men resort to physical abuse.

        Dating violence can be categorized into four major types. The first category is controlling behavior. This is behavior that many people possess without even realizing it. Some common characteristics include: not letting your spouse hang out with their friends, calling them all the time to find out their location, telling your spouse what to wear, and feeling the need to be with you all the time. Another category that is more prevalent is verbal and emotional abuse.  This is when a boyfriend or girlfriend either threatens you or your family, calls you names, or belittles you constantly. Couples can joke around with their spouses, but if it turns into constant one-sided joking then there is a chance that lighthearted joking could escalate into abuse. One of the most important things about a relationship is respecting one another and when your partner makes you feel upset that is a sign of disrespect. Physical violence is the most well-known because once you think of hitting someone you immediately think of violence. Any form of physical harm to a loved one is completely unacceptable. Similar to physical abuse is sexual abuse. This is when you are forced to do any unwanted sexual things with your spouse. If your partner does not allow you to use birth control, that is a form of abuse as well. It is your body and your boyfriend or girlfriend should respect your body just like they respect you. Everyone deserves the best and you may think that your current relationship is the only one you deserve then you are wrong. Love is respect.