At DeRosa Medical, we know that many of our patients have teenagers or grandchildren who are faced with challenging forms of harassment. From on-line bullying to social media stalking, there so many threats to the health and wellness of our youth of today. Sadly, one of those threats, is dating violence.
According to www.victimsofcrime.org, dating violence is a pattern of controlling behavior that one person uses to control another with the ultimate goal of maintaining power and control in the relationship. This is done by fear, humiliation, and degrading the other person.
This control can take the form of controlling behavior, verbal abuse, physical assault, battery, and sexual assault. Although physical abuse can occur without warning, there are “red flags” to be aware of that can tip you off that your teen may be a victim of dating violence.
Controlling behavior may include:
- Not letting your teen hang out with friends
- Calling or paging your teen frequently to find out where they are, whom they are with and what they doing
- Telling your teen what to wear or how to style their hair
Verbal and emotional abuse may include:
- Calling names
- Belittling (constant criticism)
- Threatening to hurt your teen, someone in your family, or himself or herself.
There is often an escalation of controlling behavior, which can lead to forcing your teen to participate in sex against his or her will, not allowing the use of birth control or physically abusing them.
Physical abuse may include:
- Hair pulling
The abuser also often threatens suicide to ensure the victim won’t leave the relationship.
If you suspect your teen might be in an abusive relationship, please don’t be afraid to speak up, to offer help. Let your teen know that they are not alone and that nothing that they have said or done will change the behavior of the abuser.
Give support by being a good listener and if there are signs of physical abuse, we encourage you bring the teen to see a provider at DeRosa Medical. We have staff that are trained in evaluating and recognizing the signs of dating violence and who can help you address the situation in a safe, non-threatening environment.
Depending on the severity of the dating violence, we also encourage the filing of a protective order with appropriate law enforcement as well as planning a safe, secure strategy for helping the teen leave the relationship.
As a valued patient, at DeRosa Medical we care not only about YOU but, about also the health and welfare of your entire family. Everyone deserves to feel happy, safe and secure especially, our teens.