LOS ALAMOS VICTIM ADVOCATE NEWS
Your teenage years are exciting. You’re in high school, where you meet new friends, you drive, you attend dances, and your parents let you go out on dates. Your first boyfriend or girlfriend makes you feel like you have butterflies in your stomach when you see them, or hear their voice, and your entire world revolves around them; however, some teenagers experience the ugly side of dating: Teen Dating Violence (TDV).
Teen Dating Violence is when one partner wants to control the other. TDV affects millions of teens in the United States each year; nearly 1 in 11 females and one in 15 males have experienced TDV.
TDV includes four types of behavior:
Physical violence is when a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, or using another type of physical force.
Sexual violence is forcing or attempting to force a partner to take part in a sex act, sexual touching, or a non-physical sexual event (e.g., sexting) when the partner does not or cannot consent.
Psychological aggression is the use of verbal and non-verbal communication with the intent to harm another person mentally or emotionally and/or exert control over another person.
Stalking is a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention and contact by a partner that causes fear or concern for one’s safety or the safety of someone close to the victim.
Red Flag Behaviors:
- Excessive jealousy or insecurity;
- Invasions of your privacy;
- Unexpected bouts of anger or rage;
- Unusual moodiness;
- Pressuring a partner into unwanted sexual activity;
- Blaming you for problems in the relationship and not taking any responsibility for the same;
- Controlling tendencies;
- Explosive temper;
- Preventing you from going out with or talking to other people;
- Constantly monitoring your whereabouts and checking in to see what you are doing and who you are with;
- Falsely accusing you of things;
- Vandalizing or ruining your personal property;
- Taunting or bullying; or
- Threatening or causing physical violence.
If you are a teen who is experiencing teen dating violence, I encourage you to speak with someone you feel comfortable with. The Los Alamos Victims Advocate can also assist you; all conversations are kept confidential. Don’t be afraid to reach out, you are not alone, and the abuse is not your fault. You have the power to stop the abuse, your voice matters.
The National Teen Dating Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
The Los Alamos Victim Advocate: 1-505-663-3511