By Shichen, YAAB Member
We have all had bad days, whether it is at school, work or in a relationship and have all said or done things we later regret, but abuse is different than having a bad day; it is defined as a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another. Abuse in teen dating relationships is especially common as teens can sometimes be immature and spontaneous. February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
Potential signs of dating violence include:
- Checking cell phones, emails or social networks without permission
- Extreme jealousy or insecurity
- Constant belittling or put-downs
- Explosive temper
- Isolation from family and friends
- Making false accusations
- Constant mood swings towards you
- Physically inflicting pain or hurt in any way
- Telling someone what to do
- Repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex
With these signs in mind, if you see your friend or someone you know showing these signs, go up to them and offer help or seek an adult for help. It is not easy to speak up. But this February, I challenge everyone to recognize the signs of dating violence and help those in need.
It is important to be aware and recognize abuse early in a relationship, as the physical and mental abuse in a relationship tends to get worse as time go on. It is important to be aware of teen dating abuse so that who ever needs help can receive the help he or she needs.
At A Women’s place, we help victims of domestic abuse. I volunteer at the administrative office in A Woman’s Place, and I help with many things from organizing donations to organizing paper works. Volunteering at A Woman’s Place makes me feel like what I do matters.