How common is teen dating abuse?

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Everyone has the right to a safe and healthy relationship. However, one in three teens experience some form of relationship abuse and two thirds of them never tell anyone. Dating abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of their age, financial status, race, gender, sexual orientation, or back ground.

Love is Respect (LIR)’s mission is to engage, educate and empower young people to end abusive relationships. Officially launched in February 2007 as a project of the National Domestic Violence hotline, LIR was the first 24-hour resource for teens experiencing dating violence and abuse, or needing to learn more about healthy relationships.

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Every day LIR receives hundreds of calls, on line chats, and text messages from teens across the country who are experiencing abuse in their relationship or looking to learn more about prevention along with a healthy relationship. In a single year 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner.

Abuse comes in many forms like emotional, verbal, financial, and digital. It’s not just physical. Knowing or even suspecting that your child or a teen that you know is in an unhealthy relationship can be both frightening and frustrating. It can be hard to know what steps to take or even how to start the conversations. Teens still say that parents and teachers are key influences in their decisions. This poll came from 25 percent of people who visited www.loveisrespect.com because teachers referred them. You’re all critical in helping teens develop healthy relationships, and you can provide life-changing support if they are in an abusive relationship.

HERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT CAN HELP WITH PREVENTION:

  1. Listen and give support (never judge)
  2. Accept what you are being told. (believe them)
  3. Show your concern
  4. Talk about the behaviors, not the person.
  5. Avoid ultimatums
  6. Decide on the next step together.

For more information go to www.loveisrespect.org or call Project Celebration, Inc. @ 318-256-6242 or email www.respect71052@gmail.com  Domestic Violence hotline: 1-888-411-1333.