Take a stand against teen dating violence (Editorial)


Clara Cozort

Over-texting and obsessiveness can be a form of domestic violence.

SarahBeth Davis, Perspectives writer

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

This is to bring to light emotional, physical and sexual abuse in relationships among teens and young adults. Domestic abuse is highly common. According to teendvmonth.org, one in every three students have experienced some form of abuse, or have been in an abusive relationship. However, only one third of these cases are reported. The solution to domestic abuse is making a more welcome environment to victims, so they can break out of their abuser’s hold.

Dating violence and involvement in an abusive relationship can happen to anyone of any age, race, social background, sexual orientation, or gender. To wrongfully assume that only certain groups of people can be abused silences victims outside of the stereotypes. In any instance where someone silences a victim, they give more power to the abuser and allow the abuse to continue.

Abuse can come in many forms: emotional, verbal, sexual, physical and digital. Whether a relationship has only one of these aspects or several, it still qualifies as abuse. There are some people who believe a relationship isn’t abusive if there is no physical violence. This is a paradigm that can take away from the integrity of non-physical, yet still abusive relationships, and can make dating violence hard to detect.

One of the most important factors in helping someone out of an abusive relationship is knowing that it is never the victim’s fault. Victim-blaming is one of the most harmful things to someone struggling with an abuser. No one willingly enters a relationship knowing it will turn abusive.

The common suggestion to “just leave” the abuser is very difficult. Abusers may threaten murder, suicide, or other forms of violence upon their victims to keep them from leaving. They may also do things to make the victim co-dependent on them, so leaving is difficult.

Abuse can happen to anyone, so creating a positive environment to those suffering helps lessen any power the abuser has. Being open and accepting to the victims of dating violence is one of the most important steps in bringing it to an end.

If you think you or someone you know could be in an abusive relationship, information and resources for assistance can be found at teendvmonth.org.