Parents Beware: Your Child May be in an Abusive Relationship!
edited: Sunday, April 22, 2007
By Jennifer Mitchell Earley
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Sunday, April 22, 2007
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Abusive relationships pervasive in teen and young adult relationships.
Did you know that:
- One in four girls will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18.
- Between 30 and 50% of dating relationships exhibit the same kinds of escalating violence as marital relationships,
- About 4,000 rapes or sexual assaults occur in public schools each year,
-One in 5 teenagers say they have e xperienced dating or sexual violence, or
- Recent studies indicate that female teenagers who experienced dating violence are significantly more likely to engage in substance abuse, risky sexual behaviors and suicide?
According to The Cleveland Plain Dealer (3/26/07), "Abusive relations among teens fly under radar". Rachel Dissell reported that "Teen relationships are often dicounted as 'puppy love' and not taken seriously by adults. Neither are the signs of abuse, which can quickly escalate, such as when [Cleveland] West Side high school senior Johanna Orozco was shot in the face three weeks ago. Police arested her ex-boyfriend."
The signs of abuse are, too often, discounted. Between 30 and 50% of dating relationships exhibit the same kinds of escalating violence as marital relationships. Dating violence is when physical, emotional, and/or sexual force is used by one person to control or dominate the other. Other studies indicate that:
Among college students nationwide:
- A survey conducted on 32 colleges and universities found that 84% of women raped knew their attacker and 57% of the rapes happened on dates. For this reason, women often feel emotionally and psychologically coerced into sex, not just physically.
- Approximately 32% of college students are victims of domestic violence. For many young people, this is their first encounter with a “real” relationship and they are unsure as to what constitutes healthy and unhealthy relationships (The Feminist Majority Foundation’s Choices Campus Campaign. For more information, please call toll-free: East Coast (866)444-FMLA, West Coast (866)471-FMLA or visit www.feministcampus.org).
On March 25, 2007, the AP reported that Houston officials arrested 27-year-old Timothy Wayne Shepherd for the murder of his girlfriend, Tynesha Stewart. According to law enforcement officials, Shepherd dismembered, and then burned the body of his former girlfriend, Tynesha Stewart, a 19-year-old Texas A&M University student. Authorities said Shepherd has confessed to strangling and dismembering Stewart, a college freshman who was home on spring break, because he was angry that she had started a new relationship.
Please, talk to your kids about their relationships - it could be a matter of life or death! Signs of an abusive relationship include:
Bruises or scratches
Dropping out of school activities
Avoiding friends and social events
Changes in clothes or makeup
Changes in eating or sleeping habits
Avoidance of eye contact
Crying spells or hysteria fits
Constant thoughts about the dating partner
Fearfulness around the dating partner or when his or her name is mentioned