A national survey found that ten percent of teens, female and male, had been the victims of physical dating violence within the past year and can increase the risk of physical injury, poor academic performance, binge drinking, suicide attempts, unhealthy sexual behaviors, substance abuse, negative body image and self-esteem, and violence in future relationships.Teen dating violence can be prevented, especially when there is a focus on reducing risk factors as well as fostering protective factors, and when teens are empowered through family, friends, and others (including role models such as teachers, coaches, mentors, and youth group leaders) to lead healthy lives and establish healthy relationships.One winter day during my junior year, I found out that he had cheated on me again. He became enraged as I walked away to my class but he didn't follow me. In that moment, I had two choices: I could either sit there and continue to be belittled in front of everyone because he wasn't going to leave, and nobody else was going to say or do anything, or I could walk out and be shamed anyway because I had given into his threats. As we walked down the hall, he spit in my face, pulled my necklace off my neck, threw it in the trashcan and he threw me up against the lockers. Mine is a story of emotional, psychological, and physical abuse.
Dating abuse is a pattern of abusive behaviors -- usually a series of abusive behaviors over a course of time -- used to exert power and control over a dating partner.
Every relationship is different, but the things that unhealthy and abusive relationships have in common are issues of power and control.
It is important to create spaces, such as school communities, where the behavioral norms are not tolerant of abuse in dating relationships.
The message must be clear that treating people in abusive ways will not be accepted, and policies must enforce this message to keep students safe.
The movie is a gripping tale of what some teenagers face in their relationships and how many times parents and friends do not see what is going on in the relationship.