One in 11 adolescents report being a victim of physical dating abuse (according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention). Many teenagers are struggling with what it means to have a healthy relationship and adults cannot assume that the warning signs of partner abuse are obvious. Abuse does not discriminate: It transcends race, religion, culture, socioeconomic class and it certainly exists beyond the physical.
It is no secret that media and technology have a major impact on the day to day lives of teenagers everywhere. Therefore it is important that the relationship choices of their favorite rappers, pop stars and reality TV stars are not the only messages informing their dating and relationship choices. Media’s promotion of disrespect and unwarranted abuse must be both monitored and prevented in the lives of today’s youth.
It is never too early to talk to your teenager about domestic violence or dating abuse. According to a study by Love is Not Abuse, about 72 percent of 8th and 9th graders are “dating,” and one in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner (a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence).
Domestic violence is affecting more teens today than ever. “Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.”
Prevention starts with education. Look for the warning signs and take action. Here are a few of the obvious and not so obvious signs that may indicate that your teen is either in or headed towards an abusive relationship:
1. Sudden changes in their friendship circle
2. Lack of interest in activities, school or failing grades
3. Isolation from friends and family
4. Emotional outbursts
5. Excessive calling/texting or desire to quickly call/text back a significant other
6. Social media harassment, humiliation, or constant pressure to “status update/check in”
7. Romanticizing of significant other’s jealous remarks or behavior
8. Frequent demand of privacy or secretive behavior
9. Constant apologetic language
10. Excessive makeup or unusual clothing choices (to hide physical bruises, scratches etc.)
11. Overall change in temperament or personality
12. Sudden criticism of their own appearance, talent, abilities etc.
13. Name calling by their significant other (sometimes veiled or dismissed as “joking”)
14. Improper justification of behavior (their own and/or their significant other’s)
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Celebs Tweet Their Thoughts About #JusticeForSandraBland
1. Jesse Williams
#SandraBland's treatment while attempting to travel freely on HER public roadways has been acknowledged as unlawful. She is already dead.
2. Taraji P. Henson
"SAY HER NAME #SandraBland"
3. Ava DuVernay
"'Why are you arresting me?' Because you know your rights. Because I can. Because no one'll believe you. #SandraBland"
4. Kim Kardashian
#WhatHappenedToSandraBland We need answers!!!! This is NOT ok! This is all shady! They need to own up to this & tell the truth!
5. Jussie Smollet
"A loss 4 words. #SandraBlandMatters #BlackLivesMatter 👈🏿tell me this should change once the nation shows that we do. "
6. Snoop Dogg
🙏🌹. Sandra. Rip. 🌹🌹
7. K. Michelle
R.I.P to this queen. This could've been any of us. My prayers go out to her family. #sandrabland https://instagram.com/p/5fvlO_AhCf/
8. Gabrielle Union
SAY HER NAME!!! #SandraBland #SandraBland #SandraBland #SayHerName
"We must get to the cause of #sandrabland death because this CANNOT happen again #deathorfreedom"
10. David Banner
"When will we fight back. A man's duty on earth is to protect women and children. Where are the gangsters? Preachers? We need you. Please."
11. Nicki Minaj
"Rest In Peace #SandraBland"
12. Talib Kweli
"We the people ask @LorettaLynch to investigate #SandraBland #KimberleeRandleKing RETWEET "
Signs. Signs. Signs all around us. The Message is Here. #SandraBland
14. Missy Elliot
"When I look at the #SandraBland traffic video it brings so many emotions😳😢😡😡😤!"
15. Jessie J
"God bless your soul Sandra | #sandrabland | Change needs to come |Justice needs to be served | Heart… https://instagram.com/p/5fV79mQ0aw/ "
16. Jackee Harry
"It's time y'all, it's time.." #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter
"In memory of #SandraBland these things don't make no kinda sense "
18. Holly Robinson Peete
I really don't look forward to having ANOTHER difficult conversation w my kids tonight...but here we go again😧💔 #SandraBland #SayHerName 😢
19. Jeffrey White
Sadly, doesn't matter by whose hand she died. Unjustified arrested set the outcome in motion. The state murdered her. #JusticeForSandraBland
Sandra could have been your mother, sister, aunt, friend or if she wasn't killed the community outreach advisor A&M. #SandraBland
21. Joan Smalls
"My heart is broken. Sending my deepest condolence to her family and friends. May you find Strength, Peace and Justice. When will this stop? #EqualityForAll #RIP #Why #SayHerName
22. Gladys Knight
Sandra Bland.... #SayHerName #SandraBland
23. Cara Delevigne
Things need to change NOW #SANDRABLAND #Justice #Equality
24. Meek Mill
"Rip to that young lady that lost her life about a traffic stop! 🙏 ima make sure I pray for her and her family! 🙏😄😄😄"