Texas teenagers are experiencing dating violence at alarming rates, according to the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV). In March 2006, with the support of the Office of the Texas Attorney General, TCFV conducted statewide research on the prevalence of dating violence in Texas. The results show that seventy-five percent of young Texans between the ages of 16 and 24 have either experienced dating violence or know someone who has.
Dating violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors that one person uses to control another in a relationship. Like domestic violence, it can include psychological or emotional violence, such as controlling behaviors, insults or jealousy, physical violence, such as hitting or punching, and sexual violence, such as nonconsensual sexual activity and rape. Some early warning signs of dating violence include any screening of calls or emails, unpredictable mood swings, excessive calling or text messaging, and isolation from friends and/or family.
For more information on dating violence, visit KnowtheRedFlags.com, which educates teenagers and young adults on the signs of dating violence. Also, adults and teens can get advice and support from the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline, a 24-hour national web-based and telephone helpline created to help teens (ages 13-18) experiencing dating abuse. The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline can be reached online at loveisrespect.org, toll free 1-866-331-9474 or TTY 1-866-331-8453.
TCFV Prevention Manager Andrea Girón provided this article with the help of Sean Tate and the TCFV team.