Abuse is on the rise in teen relationships. Just look at these horrific statistics at LoveIsRespect.org dating violence statistics. It blows my mind and then again, it really doesn’t. I was one of those teens.
I’m not sure I understand why these numbers are escalating. Better data tools may just be capturing something that has been around for a long time, and like I said, I was one of these statistics. I know what it is like to be entangled by abuse and not know how to get free. Teen abuse is real.
I am not even going to try and re-invent the wheel here. There are several organizations out there who are forerunners in information for teens so that you can assess relationships and hopefully conclude the health. Also, these sites are full of healthy information that should be fodder for conversations among your friends and family long before you decide to confront the whole dating thing. Additionally, they offer trained counselors and quizzes to help sort it out, if you aren’t sure where you are. Check out LoveIsRespect.org.
What I would like to offer, however, are these six words. I would like every teen to understand what these words mean as you head into relationships, because if you understand and know, then it will be easier to recognize before you get too deep.
Here are my words divided into two groups. If your relationship is defined by any of these first words, you should beware. Anyone who treats you with disrespect, is controlling or tries to isolate you is someone you should run from, don’t look back. Don’t try to fix them.
The next set of words should be decisions you make before you begin dating, because if you don’t, you will be at a disadvantage and will not know if you are compromising or not. Set your boundaries. Know how intimate is appropriate and what your expectations are. Understand trust and who you should trust, family and friends being your priority, because you will need to trust they see things you are missing.
Obviously, if you are already in a relationship, you will be at a different starting place, but assessment is always a good thing.
As always, if I can pray or help in anyway, I would love to be here for you.