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Abuse in Relationships

June 29, 2012
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Abuse in Relationships

Let me start by saying that this is not at all acceptable, no matter the situation. Abuse is abuse, whether it is a hard slap on the face or strangling someone to the point of almost killing them. Whatever it is, if it is happening to you or it has only happened once so far… get out. Get out as fast as you can. I say “so far” because you have no way of knowing whether or not it will happen again. He may tell you he loves you or he will never hit you again, but you have no reason to believe that to be true. Now, having gotten that off of my chest let me give you some statistics to maybe help you make a decision.

It is more common for younger people to be involved in abusive relationships; nearly 1.5 million a year to be precise. Also, one in every three young American people are involved in either sexual, verbal, physical, or mental abuse in a dating relationship; one in 10 kids of high school age have been either hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend; and one quarter of high school girls have been exposed to some form of sexual abuse.

That is not to say that older adults do not encounter abusive relationships, because they do, but it is more common with girls and young women ages 16-24. That is almost triple the national averages! Holy crap!

Violence in the household is usually to blame for abusive dating relationships, especially those in which the level of abuse is very severe or critical. You will typically notice violent behavior in growing children between the ages of 12 and 18. Now that is not to say a situation in which the abuser was abused at home is excusable. It is not. There is not a single situation of an abusive relationship, dating or otherwise, that is excusable.

There are still 8 states out there that do not include dating relationships in there definitions of domestic violence, which I think is not right at all and should be changed. As a result of this, many young people that are abused cannot apply for a restraining order against their abuser. Out of the many teens that have been abused in a dating relationship, only 33% have ever told anyone! I don’t understand why someone would be ashamed to tell a trusted adult that they are being hurt. Boggles my mind.

I cannot believe this next statistic; 81% of parents believe that abusive dating relationships among teens and younger adults are not an issue, and some even admit that they don’t know if it is an issue. Most importantly though, parents need to educate themselves and their children of the laws, and let them know it’s okay to ask for help. Even if your abuser tells you he is sorry and he loves you, if he hits you once do not give him a second chance to hit you again.

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