And one concrete way teens see to “be adult” is by entering into a romantic relationship.
Is it any wonder then, that teen relationships can sometimes be just as abusive and controlling as adult ones?
One in five adolescent girls has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports.
And this figure doesn’t include the girls who were verbally abused by their boyfriends (often a precursor of physical abuse).
Even scarier, from 1993 to 1998, women between 16 and 24 experienced the highest per capita rates of intimate violence, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Intimate partner violence reaches across all ethnic, racial, age and socioeconomic boundaries.
Sadly, its effect on girls and young women is profound.Adolescents can easily confuse undying love with unending control.Abuse or its threat is a way to gain and maintain control over a partner. If a victim goes out with friends rather than her boyfriend, she gets beaten up for it.Her boyfriend fears that “she’ll pick up guys.” By threatening and abusing her, he doesn’t have to trust her. Your daughter should know the dangers of dating violence and that trust is a major component of a relationship.But romantic trust is a hard skill for adolescents to learn.They don’t see it in the media, and it may not be too evident in the adult relationships around them.