Watch for warning signs of abusive relationships

Published 5:26 am Thursday, February 20, 2020


The Advocate-Messenger

According to, studies show approximately 10 percent of adolescents report being the victim of physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner during the previous year.

Email newsletter signup

Girls are particularly vulnerable to experiencing violence in their relationships and are more likely to suffer long-term behavioral and health consequences, including suicide attempts, eating disorders, and drug use.

The impacts of teen dating violence are far reaching.

It is an issue that impacts everyone involved, not just teens. Parents, teachers, friends and the community are affected by teen dating violence.

Every February is recognized as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

Teen dating violence is more common than many realize. reports one in three teens will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults, and nearly half (43 percent) of college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.

Beyond the initial abuse, dating violence has lasting repercussions.

Research suggests adolescents in abusive relationships often carry those unhealthy patterns into future relationships, continuing the cycle of dating violence.

“Indeed, children who are victimized or witness violence frequently bring this experience with them to the playground, the classroom, later into teen relationships and, ultimately, they can end up the victims and perpetrators of adult intimate partner violence,” states.

It’s something we should all be concerned about and do our part to raise awareness and prevention.

To learn more about it, visit, or

During TDVAM, we wanted to share some warning signs so parents, friends, loved ones or even victims will be able to recognize red flags that could indicate an abusive relationship. Break The Cycle offers these warning signs:

  • Checking cell phones, emails or social networks without permission
  • Extreme jealousy or insecurity
  • Constant belittling or put-downs
  • Explosive temper
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Making false accusations
  • Constant mood swings towards you
  • Physically inflicting pain or hurt in any way
  • Possessiveness
  • Telling someone what they can and cannot do
  • Repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex

If you or a loved one are the victim of dating violence, seek help. Contact a 24/7 peer advocate at 866-331-9474  or text “loveis” to 22522. You can also contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or online at