Teen dating violence is a major public health concern, with about 1 in 10 teens experiencing physical violence or sexual coercion, and even higher rates of psychological abuse.Some progress toward awareness, prevention, and intervention with these youth has been made.Fact: First, teen dating violence isn’t just limited to arguing.It includes physical, sexual, and emotional/psychological abuse, and stalking — all of which are very real and can be very damaging.While these victims may not necessarily seek out mental health care, it is not uncommon for victims of such violence to see their pediatrician or their OB/GYN for what presents as a physical or medical dilemma, but what in truth is actually the psychological reaction to trauma.Oftentimes, these symptoms are indicative of increased levels of depression, alcohol and substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress.In fact, less than 10% of teen victims report seeking help. Kids are being abused, resources are available, but the link between the two is missing. What follows are some myths about teen dating violence that may prevent youth from seeking help, or receiving help when they do reach out.Myth: If a person stays in an abusive relationship, it must not really be that bad. Almost 80% of girls who have been physically abused will continue to date their abusers. These include fear, emotional dependence, low self-esteem, feeling responsible, confusing jealousy and possessiveness with love, threats of more violence, or hope that the abuser will change.
Secondly, teen dating violence is just as dangerous and the impact is just as far reaching.
Unfortunately, we have far to go in raising awareness of this problem; 81% of parents believe that teen dating violence isn’t an issue.