Myth: “Teen dating violence isn’t that serious.”
Fact: Nearly one-third of teenage girls ages 14 to 17 say they know someone their age who has been physically abused by someone they dated. Numerous others experience psychological and emotional abuse from their partner.
Myth: “Teen dating violence only happens to kids from bad homes.”
Fact: Dating violence can happen in all types of homes and in families of all cultures, income levels and educational backgrounds. Teen dating violence is NOT limited to families with a history of violence.
Myth: “Dating abuse can’t happen to me.”
Fact: Boys, as well as girls, can be victims of teen dating violence and it can occur in any type of relationship – straight or gay.
Myth: “If she/he stays in the relationship, it must not be that bad.”
Fact: People stay in abusive relationships for a number of reasons: fear, economic dependence, confusion, loss of self-confidence, pressure from friends, family or community, popularity, not recognizing the abuse or belief that the abuser needs help or will change. These barriers, along with others, could prevent someone from leaving the relationship.
Myth: “Jealousy and possessiveness are signs of true love.”
Fact: Jealousy and possessiveness are a sign that the person sees you as a possession. It is one of the most common early warning sign of abuse.
Myth: “People who abuse are crazy or have a certain background.”
Fact: Abusers are “normal” people that we encounter in everyday life. They can be the smartest, quietest, coolest or the best athlete on campus. You cannot recognize abusers by how they look or act in public, but by how they behave in a relationship over a period of time.
Myth: “My partner checks up on me because he/she is worried about me.”
Fact: If your partner is constantly checking up on you. Whether it be through phone calls, text messages, instant messages, e-mails or visits, this is an indicator that these behaviors may lead to abuse.
For statistics on teen dating violence, click here.
Compiled with information from the Massachusetts Medical Society Public Health and Education, Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Liz Claiborne Inc.