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Teenage Girls Involved in Abusive Relationships
Yet another great topic from Make Ya Think Radio. Imagine your 16 year old daughter coming home and announcing she has started dating the new boy down the street. Let's call him Billy. You know nothing about this kid accept he moved into the neighborhood with his mother a few weeks ago and attends the same school as your daughter. This in itself is a frightening for any parents. All the "What If's". What if he breaks her heart? Are they having sex? What if she gets pregnant? But did you ever think, "What if he abuses her?". Now we're not just talking about punching and kicking her, we're also talking verbal abuse. Words can cut like a knife and take away so much of anyone's self confidence. So is your daughter dating a controlling nitwit? Let's see...
What Do You Know About This Guy Anyway?
Probably nothing! Billy is this boy that moved in down the street. You know nothing about him nor his family. Sometimes you may know a little about the family who seem like great people. But what do you know about Billy? Just because his Aunt Joyce is a great lady doesn't mean a thing. Get to know him. He's the one dating your daughter, not Aunt Joyce. Sometimes you have to get involved to insure the safety and well being of your own child. Too many parents out there are trying to be the "cool" parent and give their kids space. You are the parent. Not their friend. Space is fine. But too much space unnecessary. Be proactive and do your own investigation. Now, I'm not saying be that annoying creepy parents who is always in your kids business. But take precaution and take a look at him. Set boundaries and teach your daughter to set boundaries.
This should make you think...
- 33% of girls admit to having a girlfriend who has been hit by their boyfriend.
- 13% of girls admit to being hit by their boyfriends.
- 62% (WOW!) report having been in some type of abusive relationship.
- 30% of young women being murdered have been murdered by their boyfriend or husband.
- Girls in the ages 16-24 have the highest rate of abusive relationships.
- 25% of girls suffer from verbal abuse by their boyfriends.
- 81% of parents are oblivious to the problem!
Where Does the Problem Stem From?
72% of 8th and 9th graders date. There is your answer right there! I'll tell you right now, if I'm ever blessed with a daughter her little butt is gonna be studying in 8th and 9th grade. Not establishing an exclusive relationship! 62% of girls between 11-14 years old are in verbal or physically abusive relationships. You've got to be out of your mind letting these babies out there dating. This blows my mind...completely. Half of the parents don't even know the signs! We sit down and talk to our kids about sex, social media, sports events, etc. But we can't sit down and discuss the possibility of her one day being in an abusive relationship and how to handle it? That's because the 81% of parents don't even think it's a problem. Some of these girls who are in the abusive relationships don't talk to their parents because it's not something their parents talk about! And most girls don't get out of the relationship because they don't know how...because they parents don't talk about it. So again, just like any social issue, it starts at home. Be proactive in your children's lives. Know the signs and talk about it.
How Do I Know My Daughter is at Risk?
Check out Billy's behavior. Is he reckless? Does he get extraordinarily angry at the drop of a hat? Is he constantly on her rear like a shadow? Maybe she went to the diner with her girlfriends and he just shows up. Or maybe Billy is the sweetest boy on the block? More than likely you don't know much about Billy is because he's got something to hide. That sweet Billy boy could be the devils advocate. Most of the time she will make excuses for his behavior. Healthy relationships involve respect, trust, and consideration for the other person. Sadly, some relationships can turn bad. 1 in 11 high school students report being physically hurt by a date. Again, know the signs...
- Your daughter worries about her appearance or what she says or does because of what he may think.
- She puts him first, always. Her needs are met second.
- She thinks twice about what she wears or where she goes when she is not with Billy.
- She's scared of him...maybe not before, but most recently things are different.
- Maybe her grades or weight has changed dramatically since seeing Billy.
- Check her phone records. Does he call her over and over when she won't answer the phone? Or does she seem nervous if she can't answer right away?
- Has her self confidence and self respect diminished? Is she more emotionally distressed or more depressed lately?
- You might think it's just two kids fighting, but every time they argue is she the one who always apologizes?
- She won't go out with her girl friends or makes decisions based on how he may react.
- She is down right a completely different person because he controls her every move.
- Let's not forget the obvious...physical wounds, scratches or bruises.
How many of you have had this "Abusive Relationship" talk with their kids?
I'm 16, Am I in an Abusive Relationship?
Now that we know the signs of our daughters being in abusive relationships, do they know the signs? Do they know how to tell if she is in an abusive relationship? And what should she do to get out of it? Has Billy ever....
- told you he cannot live without you?
- blamed you for his problems?
- threatened to hurt you or himself if you broke up with him?
- taken "no" for an answer? Or is what he says goes?
- force you to engage in sexual activity when you don't want to by saying things like, "Well if you love me you'd..."
- pressured you to take drugs or drink alcohol? Smoke cigarettes? Even if you don't want to?
- told you he believes men should be in control and women do what they're told?
- disrespected his own mother?
- has a bad time controlling his temper?
- hit you or put his hands on you in any way whether leaving marks or not?
Make Your Presence Known
Go with your instinct. Be more involved. Too many parents these days let their kids run off on the streets doing whatever it is they please while they sit in the house watching the late night show. When I was 14 or 15 my parents damn well better know where I was, what I was doing, and who I was with. I'm not saying be that crazy parent. But staying involved in your kid's lives makes a world of a difference. Sometimes there are mistakes they have to make in order to understand and learn from. Like getting arrested for tagging a building with spray paint. This isn't spray paint folks, this is real life. This is a lesson to be taught and warned about BEFORE it becomes a problem. And if it does become a problem, they know how to deal with it! Bring it up in any normal conversation. Nonchalantly bring it up whenever the opportunity arises. If we talked to our kids more they would listen more and know how to react in different situations. Again, this is the truth, real talk and more than anything...real life!