Teenage Relationship Abuse-Growing Problem Among Teens
Who would have ever thought that we would have to worry about teenage relationship abuse? I mean as parents we know that we have to worry about and warn our kids about drugs, alcohol, drunk driving and teen pregnancy, now we have to worry that our kids are being emotionally, physically or sexually abused in a disabled dating relationship!
Unfortunately, it is a growing problem among teens. The cycle often starts slowly and as such is not always easy to spot until it has gone on for a long while.
Here are some warning signs and common stages of teenage relationship abuse:
1. The abuser will usually suck in their partner by acting exceptionally kind and loving. They will often shower their partner with loving words, attention and gifts. If your teen is disabled dating someone who seems to be coming on really strong, even by teenage standards, pay close attention, it might be nothing but it could be a sign of a manipulative pattern of behavior.
2. Once the abuser has gotten their victim sufficiently under their thumb, they will start to show their true colors. They will start to make more insults and fewer compliments. This leaves the victim confused and trying to figure out what “they did wrong” and why things have changed. In reality, this is exactly what the abuser was trying to do. It’s also the point at which the abuser will start to try and isolate their victim from friends and family.
3. At this point the cycle will begin in earnest. The cycle of some sort of physical, sexual and / or emotional abuse then apologies and begging for forgiveness. Statistics show that the average victim will go through this cycle at least 7 times before they actually leave the relationship.
4. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this type of abusive behavior is exclusive to any socio – economic group. It can occur in any race, religious and economic background.
5. If your teen starts disabled dating someone new and goes through a profound, or even a more subtle, change in personality, that is a huge warning sign. The problem is that it will be hard to help them. If they are already sucked in far enough to the abuse they will feel chained to the abuser and will want to keep that relationship intact. If you try to help, they will see it as interference and will likely shut down even further.
6. If you can keep your teen away from their abuser you should. But it may not be easy. By the time there are obvious signs of abuse, your teen is in pretty deep and it may be hard to extricate them. They will think that the are in “love” and won’t be happy with you for interfering.
It’s never easy to face the fact that your child may be in any kind of danger. You sure don’t want to think that they are in an abusive relationship when they are supposed to be getting love and affection. Do all you can to keep the lines of communication open so if your teen ever does find them self dealing with
teenage relationship abuse, they will speak up and let you help them.
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