Dating abuse is a pattern of behavior, attitudes and beliefs that seek to exert power and control over another person in a dating relationship.A dating relationship is defined as a person involved in an intimate or romantic association with another person, regardless of length or exclusivity of the relationship. And after the story involving singers Chris Brown and Rihanna hit the news a few years ago, Emilio Ulloa, Ph D -- another dating violence expert -- noticed that plenty of high-schoolers assumed that Rihannahad done something wrong. Some grow up in cultures that urge the men to be strong, which some guys confuse with being aggressive or controlling, says Ulloa, who researches dating violence at San Diego State University.
About 9% of teens are the victim of physical violence from a dating partner each year, according to the CDC.
But much of the abuse that goes on between teens may not be physical, says Elizabeth Miller, MD, Ph D, a doctor at the University of Pittsburgh who focuses on teen dating violence.
They may be embarrassed or ashamed, and may blame themselves. Tell them that you are concerned for their safety and well-being and that you are there for them.
They may be afraid their parents will make them break up, convinced that it is their fault or that their parents will blame them or be disappointed in them, and afraid of losing privileges. Ask them what they would like to have happen..can you help them be safe. Educate yourself—access online resources, read, call Caring Unlimited for information and/or support for yourself!
But jealous behaviors can start you on the path to physical types of abuse, Ulloa says.