To Love, Or To Run?

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They smile, hug, kiss, and laugh like a seemingly perfect couple, right? But behind forced smiles, fake actions and closed doors, a dangerous and dark shadow lurks: a history filled with the blaming, the screaming, the punching, the kicking, and most importantly, the abuse. Fern Shen, the author of “Issues in Adolescent Sexuality,” states that an increasing amount of teenage couples resemble the well-known syndrome called adult battered spouse syndrome. One in three youths experience dating violence during their teens (Bowling Green Daily News). Chilling statistics such as that, prove this is a rising epidemic. Middle schools need to teach about this topic to spread the word to other teens, show that teens do indeed share the burden of this topic, and join the fight to end domestic dating abuse.
Schools need to take a stand against dating abuse. A group called Break the Cycle reports that more than 40% of abuse happens on school grounds. In order to protect the abused, schools need to teach students about abusive relationships and what signs to look for. Teens will recognize the warning signs such as: extreme jealousy, controlling behavior, using force in an argument, hypersensitivity, unpredictable moods, rigid gender roles, explosive anger, isolation from friends and family, and physical and verbal abuse. Another way to help abused teens is to provide school personnel with training and resources to teach students about violence in relationships. In one of my own experiences with dating violence, I recall an acquaintance of mine telling me a story about about him and his girlfriend fighting. He told me that whenever they fight, violence usually occurs. Teaching this in schools may just save lives.
By helping teens realize the danger of dating abuse, the possibility of saving them from physical and verbal abuse, increases (“Break The Cycle”). In one story that I read, it talked about a girl named Mosley who broke up with her boyfriend, because he was becoming increasingly violent. Then, still at school, he killed her two hours later with a butcher knife (“Break The Cycle”). One way to get teens to hear about the results of dating abuse is to create different groups. This way, the groups will provide teenagers an easy, and possibly fun way to hear about, and prevent the dangers of dating abuse. A club at your school to make posters and to talk about domestic dating violence is a great way of informing teens and getting them involved with this rising epidemic. A more modern way of doing this is to create a Facebook group about it. Have your friends *like* it and post discussions on it every day. The more teenagers know about dating abuse, the safer they are.


Healing takes time, not only for the mind, but for the heart and soul too. Those who have been abused should some way and somehow get help. It doesn’t matter if it’s talking to a friend, teacher, parent, therapist, or a trusted adult. Even though time is said to heal all wounds, going through it alone will be more difficult for the victim. Another idea is to go to a shelter for women involved with domestic violence. One close to our area is the Domestic Violence Project Inc, and is located in Stark County. Most shelters don’t cost anything, and being able to talk with others who went through what the abused did may help teens heal. “Just because someone is not legally considered an adult does not mean they don’t deserve the same protections adults are afforded, especially when they are victims of dating violence” (Bowling Green Daily News).

Even though domestic violence in teens is rising, changes can be made in schools through teens; they have the power to end the abuse. I hope that the abused, and those who are bordering on that very thin line, will find the help they need to fight against their pain, and their fear. Then, maybe domestic dating abuse will finally end.





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