Signs of teen dating violence

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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About one in every four high school relationships are said to involve abuse.
Doctors say we need to empower young people and make them more aware of this problem.

Cleveland Clinic Children's child psychiatrist Dr. Tatiana Falconeis says many times parents have to look for the signs their teenaged son or daughter has a violent boyfriend or girlfriend.

"You're seeing that more and more the relationship is invading all different areas of their life," said Falconeis. "They have to text all of the time to say where they are, what are they doing?"

Falcone says victims of teen dating violence are more likely to become depressed or anxious. They may also engage in unhealthy behaviors such as using tobacco, drugs, and alcohol.

A recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control found 1 in 10 teens reported being hit or hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the past year.

That's why Falcone says adults need to talk to teens now about the importance of developing healthy, respectful relationships. Parents also need to watch for changes in their child with each new boyfriend or girlfriend.

"Starting to recognize those early signs of what happened is so important. It is so important to recognize when the patterns change," Falcone said.

Falcone adds that getting to know your teen's boyfriend or girlfriend's parents is a good way to connect with both of them.

According to the CDC, among adult victims of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, 22 percent of women and 15 percent of men first experienced some form of partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age.

National Dating Abuse Helpline:
1-866-331-9474 or text 77054

National Domestic Violence Hotline:
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

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