Teen Dating Violence
Teen Dating Violence is a pattern of abusive, aggressive and controlling behavior in a romantic relationship. These behaviors can take many forms and can include financial, physical, emotional and sexual abuse. The abuse usually increases and the violence worsens over time. Although many of these behaviors, such as extreme jealousy and possessiveness, are sometimes thought to be normal, don’t be fooled!
Recognizing the abuse and putting a stop to it in a relationship can be difficult. Key warning signs of abusive behavior can include:
- Extreme jealousy
- Limiting your time with friends or family
- Guilt Trips
- Demanding sex or affection
- Threats of physical violence
- Unequal power balance
Everyone has a right to a safe and healthy relationship, free from violence and fear. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how long you have been dating a person: love should not hurt your body, your mind OR your heart! Tri-Valley Haven is here to help.
While all relationships are unique, we consider healthy relationships to share positive qualities that are mutually beneficial to each partner.
Healthy partnerships are often based on:
- Fulfillment: Your partner brings out the best in you and allows you to be yourself.
- Communication: You and your partner can communicate openly without fear of being judged.
- Personal Freedom: Neither person tries to control the other.
- Acceptance and trust: Partners support and accept each other mutually for who they are, no matter the faults or strengths that each partner may possess.
How to Help A Friend
If you know someone who may be in an abusive relationship, and who feels comfortable with talking to you, Tri-Valley Haven recommends:
Heed Warning Signs: Do any of the warning signs of teen dating violence listed here apply to your friend or family member? For example, is a partner extremely jealous, overwhelmingly demanding, or threatening violence?
Be a Good Listener: Simply listening to someone tell a personal story can be extremely supportive. Sometimes the best support you can provide is to listen without judgement or accusations about what they are experiencing
Get the Person Help: Let your friend know Tri-Valley Haven is here to help. Give them the 24-hour crisis line number where they can call and speak confidentially to a trained counselor anytime 1-800-884-8119.
TVH educates the community through supportive, informative and interactive programs. Tri-Valley Haven provides classes on dating violence and sexual assault prevention, and women’s self-defense in middle and high schools. The Haven also provides community education to church groups, to senior citizens and to local organizations.