Dating is important in teenage life, but increasingly it has become a way of physical and emotional assault on people. The growing menace of violence while dating, its patterns and why the abusers act behave in the way they do need to be addressed. This is important because it can affect the victim's self-esteem. It is important that we understand that abusers are not going to change without treatment, and there should be effective public health strategies in place to help victims as well as abusers resume a normal life.
A study by Harvard School of Public Health showed that dating can be risky, particularly for girls. In the study carried out on more than 1900 girls, around one-fifth of them reported being physically abused in a dating relationship. The abuse included physical aggression as well as being forced to have sex. This kind of abuse is on the rise and has reached alarming levels in some countries such as USA.
It is important for teens on a date, or anyone else for that matter, to start giving hints when faced with a person they would rather avoid. No need to ask anything about their daily activities or whether they are doing well in their life. It can give a false impression that one is interested in them, and that it is a sign of taking things ahead.
Girls are inclined to hide the fact that they have been manhandled while dating. Parents need to keep this in mind and look for subtle warning signs. Some of the glaring signs are:
If you find your daughter to be the victim of dating violence, make them relaxed by saying that it is an experience to learn from. It shouldn encourage them to have responsible teen dating by exploring better dating preferences in the future. Tell her that they she should make friends only if she likes a certain person, and ignore the whole thing about being free. Do not show interest in a person unless you are genuinely interested in him. Dating would be far from fun if one does learn a lesson from such an incident.
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