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Abusive Relationships/Domestic Violence

Experts often talk about a cycle of violence that traps many abused girls in abusive teen relationships. The first state of the cycle is called tension-building. During this time, the girl may feel anxious--like a volcano may erupt at any moment. The next stage is the explosion. This stage is the most intense and can be very violent. The abuser may scream, threaten, blame or physically harm his/her partner. Follwing the explosion, there is a honeymoon period. The abuser apologized for the violent behavior, may promise it will never happen again, or shower his/her partner with gifts. The abused forgives the violent behavior and the cycle continues.


There are several differnet types of abuse, mainly physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse. here is a quick breakdown:


Physical abuse is probably the most well known (and moost recognizable) of all the abusive behaviors. Physical abuse can involve hitting, shoving, slapping, grabbing or any other behavior that involves touching the other person in a forceful way.


Emotional abuse is when the abuser continually manipulates and controls his/her partner through words or threats. The abuser may "remake" his/her partner, suggesting that she think, dress, or act in a different way. He/she may also use humilation as a form of control--frequently putting down his/her partner, calling his/her partner cruel names, making comments about weight or blamming his/her partner for their own irrational behavior. Intimidation is alsoo another form of emotional abuse.


Sexual abuse can range from lewd name-calling(slut, whore, prostitue) to convincing his/her partner to engage in sexual acts she may be uncomfortable with. Insisting on unprotected sex, forcing her to make home porn movies, and date rape are just some of the other signs of sexual abuse.


It's common for many victims not to realize they are in an abusive relationship or feel confused about the behavior that is occurring in the relationship. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are many signs that point to abusive behavior.


Some sings of an abuser is someone who:

*Keeps tabs on what you're doing all the time

*Criticizes you for little things, such as how much makeup you wear or what types of clothing you like

*Cuts you off from your family and friends, and decides who you can speak to and when

*Makes fun of you in front of family and friends

*Blames you for his/her abusive behavior For example, he/she may claim that you made them act in a violent way.


Abusers can be guys OR girls. Many people think that abusive relationships only occur between a male and a female, where the male is the abuser and the female is the victim; however this is not always the case. Though it is not as common, men can be abused by their partner--and are less likely to report the abuse. One recent study estimated that men experience over one third of all domestic violence injuries. Also, abusive relationships can exist in same-sex partnerships. For example, one study found that domestic violence occurs in 18% of lesbian relationships.


While there is no clear reason why people abuse, experts believe there are a variety of factors that may contribute to this type of behavior. Some experts believe that certain people are just biologically more violent, while others consider violence a learned behavior. Whatever the case may be, statistics have shown that drug and alcohol abuse, as well as poverty all increase the occurrence of abuse.


Unfortunately, abusive relationships are quite common. It is estimated that approximately 3 million women are abused every year in the United States. Simply put, one in four women wil be the victim of domestic violence during their lifetime.






More Fast Facts(Statistics)

In March 2006, Liz Claiborne Inc. commissioned Teenage Research Unlimited(TRU) to conduct a survey to dive deeper into the issue of teen dating abuse, gauging the degree to which teens have been involved in abusive/controlling relationships and to understand youth perceptions regarding what is and is not acceptable in a realtionship.

The findings were astounding. The results show that alarming numbers of teens experience and accept abusive behaviour in dating relationships. Many teens also feel physically and sexually threatened.


  • 1 in 5 teens who have been in a serious relationship report being hit, slapped, or pushed by a partner.
  • 1 in 3 girls who have been in a serious relationship say they've been concerned about being physcially hurt by their partner.
  • 1 in 4 teens who have been in a serious relationship say their boyfriend/girlfriend has tried to prevent them from spending time with friends/family; the same number have been pressured to only spend time with their partner.
  • 1 in 3 girls between the ages of 16 and 18 say sex is expected for people their age if they're in a relationship; 1/2 of teen girls who have experienced sexual pressure report they are afraid of the relationship would break up if they did not give in.
  • Nearly 1 in 4 girls who have been in a relationship (23%) reported going futher sexually than they wanted as a result of pressure.


Myth: It can't happen to me.

Fact: More than 1 out of 10 teenagers experience physical violence in their dating relationships.


Myth: Jealousy and possessiveness are a sign of true love.

Fact: Jealous and possessiveness are a sign that the person sees you as a possession. It is the most common early warning sign of abuse.


Myth: Teen dating violence isn't really that serious. It's just kids goofing around.

Fact: 30% of all women who are murdered in the US are killed by their husband/boyfriend according to a massachusetts study. That same high percentage applies to teen women, aged 15-19. Also, 60% of all rapes reported to rape crisis centers are committed by acquaintances, and the majority of victims are aged 16-24.


Myth: Men are battered by women just as often as women are battered by men.

Fact: The US bureau of justice statstics reports that 95% of the reported incidents of assaults in heterosexual realtionships are committed by males.


Myth: Alcohol causes men to batter.

Fact: Many men who batter do not drink heavily, and many alcoholics do not beat their partners, further, batters who do drink don't necessarily give up battering when they give up drinking while some abusers do beath their partners while they are drunk, the alcohol acts as their excuse not the cause.


Myth: Victims bring on the abuse themselves. They ask for it.

Fact: Perpertrators believe they have the right to use abuse to control their partner, and they see the victim as less than equal to themselves. The victim has no control over the abuser.


Myth: If a person stays in an abusive relationship, it must not really be that bad.

Fact: People stay in abusive relationships fpr a number of reasons: fear, economic dependence, confusion, loss of self-confidence, not recognizing what's happening is abuse, belief that the abuser needs their help or will change, etc.


Myth:Most batterers are bums or crazy people.

Fact:Batterers are found in all classes and types of people: rich, poor, professional, unemployed, black, white, urban, rural, etc.


20% of children between the ages of 11 and 14 say their friends are victims of dating violence.


40% of children between the ages of 11 and 14 in relationships know friends who are verbally abused.


34% of teens that are sexually active by 15 have been physically abused.


20% of all teens in relationships have been physically abused.


33% of all teens have been affected by Teen Dating Violence.


Teenagers are victimized by dating violence at a higher rate than adults.


1/3 of all students have been in an abusive relationship by the time they graduate from college.


A research in the July 2008 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine shows that 44% of all students have ben in an abusive relationship by the time they graduate from college, 22% of all males and more than 50% of all females.


30% of all murdered teenage girls are murdered by a current/former partner.


::Early Warning Signs that your date may eventually become abusive::

*Extreme jealousy

*Shows hypersensitivity

*Controlling behavior

*Believes in rigid sex roles

*Quick involvement

*Blames others for his/her problems

*Unpredictable mood swings

*Cruel to animals/children

*Alcohol and drug use

*Verbally abusive

*Explosive anger

*Abused former partners

*Isolates you from friends and family

*Threatens violence

*Uses force during an argument


::Common clues that indicate a teenager may be experiencing dating violence::

*Physical signs of injury

*Use of drugs/alcohol

*Truancy, dropping out of school


*Failing grades

*Emotional outburst



*Changes in mood or personality

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