Am I in an Unhealthy or Abusive Relationship?
Sometimes, an unhealthy or abusive relationship is pretty easy to spot. Consider this example:
Tina's parents were watching television as Tina (not her real name) burst through the front door without closing it, and ran into her bedroom. Her parents went to Tina's room to investigate. As they approached their daughter's bedroom, they could hear her crying hysterically. They asked if they could come in. Tina said yes.
Once they were in the bedroom, Tina turned to look at them, and they saw a bright red mark on the side of her face.
"He slapped me ... Brad hit me," Tina screamed. "We were sitting in his car outside of our house talking, and we got into an argument about his friends. I just don't like hanging around some of them. Well, Brad got so mad that he slapped me in the face. I've seen him lose his temper before, but I never thought it would be like this."
Tina's parents were frightened for their daughter and knew they had an extremely serious situation on their hands.
Warning Signs of an Unhealthy or Abusive Relationship
Tina's situation is far more common than you might imagine. A United States Department of Justice survey showed the following eye-opening facts:
- 1 out of 3 teenagers has experienced violence in a dating relationship.
- 50% to 80% of teens have reported knowing others who were involved in violent relationships.
- 15% of teen girls and boys have reported being victims of severe dating violence (defined as being hit, thrown down, or attacked with a weapon).
- 8% of eighth- and ninth-grade teens have reported being victims of sexual dating violence.
- Young women, aged 16 to 24 years, experience the highest rates of relationship violence.
According to a 2014 Centers for Disease Control survey:
- Approximately 9% of high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the 12 months before surveyed.
- Among adult victims of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, 22% of women and 15% of men first experienced some form of partner violence between ages 11 and 17.