February is the Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month and the 2017 theme for this month is “Love is…Respect.” So, it is the right time to raise awareness about abuse in relationships among teenagers and young adults. Teen dating violence (TDV) has become widespread in the U.S. People facing TDV are at a higher risk of eating disorders and substance abuse, among others.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teen dating violence can be defined as sexual, physical or emotional violence in a relationship among teenagers that includes stalking. While healthy relationships can have a positive effect on a teen’s emotional development, abusive or violent relationships can have severe short-term and long-term negative effects on them. According to a 2011 CDC survey, 14 percent of males and 23 percent of females experienced some form of partner violence between the ages of 11 and 17 years. The shocking data proves that TDV is much more common than most parents realize.
Warning signs of teen dating violence
Teen dating violence can be effectively countered if the community comes together and takes action. Everyone in the community can stand up and play a role in the movement to prevent and end violence in teen relationships. Violence in a relationship does not happen suddenly. There are always some warning signs that can point towards the proclivity of one or both partners to become violent or even point towards the victim. Some common warning signs of an abusive teen relationship are:
- Withdrawal from school activities.
- Feelings of jealousy and insecurity.
- Tendency to physically hurt one’s partner or signs of abuse on a person’s body.
- Getting isolated from family and friends.
- Severe mood swings.
- Taking to alcohol and drugs.
If a teenager is struggling within an unhealthy relationship, it is time to get some help. Start by asking open-ended questions, listen to them non-judgmentally and refrain from interrogation. Parents or teachers should believe what teens experiencing TDV tell them and support their decision and/ or endeavors to get out of such a situation before it is too late.
Help at hand
Teenagers exposed to dating violence are more likely to suffer from mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression and substance abuse. At Sovereign Health, we understand that substance addiction is a serious disease and encompasses a broad range of behaviors. For adolescents who have a variety of emotional, behavioral and mental health conditions, Sovereign Health’s Rancho San Diego and White River Academy provide an array of evidence-based and complementary behavioral health treatment services.
Sovereign Health Rancho San Diego facility provides a residential treatment center (RTC) program, an intensive outpatient program (IOP) and a partial hospitalization program (PHP) to male and female adolescents between the ages of 12 to 17 years for mental health issues, substance use disorders and co-occurring conditions. While receiving treatment, patients are able to continue their education and receive credits through our EDGE program. Our White River Academy is an accredited educational institution and residential treatment center that helps adolescent boys between the ages of 12 and 17 years with emotional and behavioral problems. While addressing a host of emotional and behavioral health conditions, the facility provides instructive programming in a classroom setting.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of teen dating violence and is struggling with addiction to any substance, or you are someone or know someone who is prone to becoming violent towards others and is abusing drugs, contact Sovereign Health for recovery at our state-of-the-art addiction treatment centers located across the U.S. Call our 24/7 helpline 855-683-9756 or chat online with our representatives for more details on our best drug addiction treatment centers in the U.S.