Preventing Teen Dating Violence
According to the Centers for Disease Control nearly 1 in 11 female and
approximately 1 in 14 male high school students report having
experienced physical dating violence in the last year. About 1 in 8
female and 1 in 26 male high school students report having
experienced sexual dating violence in the last year. 26% of women
and 15% of men who were victims of sexual violence,
physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their
lifetime first experienced these or other forms of violence by that
partner before age 18.
Teen Dating Violence Comes in Many Forms
Yelling, mocking or other verbal ways of intimating or making someone uncomfortable.
Persistently putting someone in uncomfortable or no-win situations.
Degrading or running someone down.
Unwelcomed sexual inuendo.
Overt sexual language and expressions.
Not taking no for an answer.
Slapping, punching, hitting, kicking
Pinching or scratching.
Holding and refusing to let go.
Inappropriate or unwelcomed proximity.
Acting in a menacing manner.
Unwelcomed touching or contact.
Throwing things at you.
Acting violently or aggressively such as breaking things.
Youth who are victims of dating violence in high school are at higher risk for victimization during college
Cutting, pulling hair out and other types of self-harm.
Not eating, withdrawing or behaviors that would be unusual for the child.
Experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Engaging in unhealthy behaviors such as using tobacco, drugs, and alcohol.
Exhibiting aggressive or antisocial behaviors like lying, theft or bullying.
Thinking about or acting on thoughts of suicide.
Violence in an adolescent relationship sets the stage for problems in future relationships, including intimate partner violence and sexual violence perpetration and/or victimization throughout life.
HOW DADS HELP TO PREVENT TEEN DATING VIOLENCE
BE A ROLE MODEL
How you act toward women will greatly influence both how your son acts toward women and the norms your daughter develops about the men in her life. A boy who sees that his father treats women with respect and dignity will most likely do the same. A daughter who sees that her father treats women with respect and dignity will be more likely to associate with boys who act similarly. Good fathers help to prevent teen dating violence by helping to raise kind and respectful children and by helping their children to value those qualities in others.
BE SUPPORTIVE OF YOUR CHILDREN TO BUILD UP THEIR SELF-ESTEEM AND SELF-CONFIDENCE
The connection between a father and his children is vital for them to develop their confidence and self-worth. A good father can balance how he both challenges his children while having patience and letting them know he loves and supports them. In doing so, he can help them to develop the character to treat others with compassion, while also building up their capacity to be able to stand up for themselves in needed.
TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT SETTING APPROPRIATE BOUNDARIES
The word is full of all types of people, including those are either intentionally or unintentionally malicious. Part of being a father is helping your children to understand this is the case and to prepare them for it. Help them to develop the lines they need to draw to protect themselves mentally, emotionally and physically.
HAVE AN ONGOING DISCUSSION WITH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON IN THEIR LIVES
It is important to communicate with your children on a regular basis. This includes talking about routing things because this keeps the lines of communication open. If your child knows they can talk to you, they are more likely to talk to you about the things they are struggling with. And they are more likely to hear you when you talk about sensitive issues.