staff editorial

Teen dating violence. What should you do or say when you witness or experience it?

Teen dating violence is a real problem in high schools. It’s not limited to pushing or hitting, yelling and degrading is also another form of verbal abuse.
While many say that they don’t see teen dating violence in the halls, but they probably do. When asked what they would do if they saw it, people say they would step in and address what was happening. Would they really though?

If you saw a guy pushing his girlfriend in the hall, chances are you would either say something to him and ask the girl if she was okay, or you would continue walking, acting like you didn’t see anything so you didn’t have to get involved.

It’s all about the opportunity to help someone in need. If someone in a relationship was being abused, they might not ask for help but nine times out of ten they would like to be helped out in one way or another, whether it’s just someone asking in about the situation or by getting involved.

Actions speak louder than words. It’s easy to say you’ll stop to help but a lot of people actually just turn the other cheek for a number of reasons. They don’t recognize that it is happening in front of them, they don’t want to get involved in a couples relationship, or it’s one of those “that’s just how they are” couples.

When interfering with a subject like this, it’s only going to help by being respectful of the couple and just by asking if they are both alright to avoid hostility; the focus is to stop the abuse, not to misplace it on another person. Get yourself in between the couple, by putting your body in the way of the abuse whether it’s physical or verbal. The person causing the harm will have to retract and stop. Anything you can do to get the abuse to stop is a good thing.

On the other hand, if you are the one that is the subject to any type of abuse, the best thing to do is just walk away from the situation, removing yourself completely.

No one should be a victim to teen relationship abuse, even though it can be difficult to walk away from the person you are dating. The fact is, if the person you are dating is resorting to abuse in the relationship, then that person doesn’t deserve you.

Most people don’t ask for help until its too late, whether it’s because they are scared to or don’t find it that big of a problem.
If you are being physically hit by your partner, you should tell someone right away. If they hit you the first time, what’s stopping them from doing it again?
You should never blame yourself for others hitting or mistreating you. Someone outside of the relationship needs to be consulted to help fix the problem or the relationship should be ended completely.

If you question whether or not your relationship is abusive or not, has a quick quiz that may give you answers. The site also provides helpful resources.