Counselor offers tips on dealing with teen dating violence
Teenage girls and boys alike can be caught up in abusive relationships
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — There are a host of conversations between parents and their teenage children that never come easy.
One of those concerns domestic violence in teen relationships.
In honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, KSLA’s Tamer Knight gets great advice from local counselors.
“Girls are abused. Guys are abused.”
Domestic violence impacts thousands of people nationwide.
And according to youth.gov, at least 1 out of 10 teenagers will experience some sort of dating violence.
The numbers of teens impacted are always concerning for local counselors.
“Domestic violence. It’s not being taught in school. They talk about bullying and that’s fine to teach bullying, but what about domestic violence?” said Norma Whitaker, of You Are Not Alone Counseling Services. “Do they know what domestic violence is and what you do in the case of domestic violence?”
Youth.gov also states that approximately 10% of teenagers report being the victim of physical violence at the hands of their partner.
“You know, if you call yourself dating and this boy hit you because he saw you talking to somebody else, it’s time to get out already,” Whitaker said. “Because that’s one of the first signs. If they hollering at you, calling you names ... first sign of domestic violence.
“So if they don’t know these things, then how are they going to do anything about it?”
Counselors also say low self-esteem is often the cause of domestic violence.
“Low self-esteem is a part of the cause not the result of,” Whitaker said. “It can be the result, but basically the cause because I don’t feel good about myself. I want somebody to love me, to care about me. So if somebody walks up ‘Ohhh, you cute, you got a good shape,’ then that’s going to make you feel good. But you haven’t found out about this person and what this person can do to you.”
Both boys and girls can be victims of domestic violence.
By showing love and support, you can create avenues to get teenagers to open up about their experiences or potentially escaping toxic situations.
“We gotta throw our arms around that person and let them know they are loved because something happens they are going to wonder why me? I must’ve been bad, I must’ve did this and that’s not the case.”
If you or anyone you know is experiencing dating violence, you are urged to call the National Domestic Violence hotline toll-free at (866) 331-9474.
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