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Teen Dating Violence Support Group

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Although most teen dating relationships last a shorter amount of time, it is an important part of a teen’s life that can impact them greatly. Teen dating violence occurs when one partner in the dating relationship is abused by the other partner and tries to control their daily functions. In the 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, nearly10 percent of teens nationwide reported having an experience of physical violence from a romantic partner a year prior to this article (Mulford, & Giordano, 2008).

It is important for teens to be aware of signs that their relationship may be heading towards violence or that they are in an abusive relationship so they could receive help before any serious injury or death occurs. The teen dating violence support group will give teens an arena to discuss actions that can be defined as dating violence or abuse from a romantic partner. The group will also be a supportive arena for those teens who have experienced violence or abuse in a romantic relationship in becoming survivors and coping with their experience and moving on to feeling safe and living a violence free life.

In the support group, there will be discussions on what is considered a healthy relationship and how to maintain a healthy relationship.

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The support groups main focus is to empower teens to be educated about the signs and the dangers of dating violence and to empower teens with information on how to avoid dating violence, to recognize an abusive relationship, and to be able to escape abusive situations safely.

Rational Working with women at a domestic violence shelter, I have noticed a high percentage of the women who receive services from our program, discuss they had experienced a form of abuse from a boyfriend or a romantic partner as teenagers. Some of the women stated as teens they did not take their experience serious enough or understand that they were being abused or that it could happen to them again as an adult.

A survey done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010, states approximately 1 in 5 women and almost 1 in 7 men who at one time experienced rape, physical violence, and stalking by a romantic partner, had first experienced some form violence from a romantic partner between the age between 11 and 17 years old (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). Most teens do not report their experiences of dating violence making it hard for adults and practitioners to find out about this experience in the teen years.

Ashley and Foshee (2005) explain that it is far less likely that teens will report an episode dating violence than will adults reporting a domestic violence episode. Teens need to be educated and informed on the dangers of violence to understand why it is important to report their experience of violence so the cycle of abuse can stop and they could learn to be safe and live a violence free life. Additional Information The population that this support group will target are students that are in middle school where the ages are between 11 and 14 years of age.

The support group will be open to both male and female students. Although high school is where most teens will begin to date, middle school aged teens also experience dating violence. It is essential for the group leaders to understand the importance of peer influence and the impact it has on the development of teens. It will be important to assure all members of the group that all information discussed will be confidential so they could feel comfortable in expressing their feelings and experiences.

The desirable group size for this particular support group would be 6 to 8 teenagers at a time. This allows for a group small enough to have intimate dialogue and large enough for the members not to feel being singled out. A group this size with teens will allow the flow of conversation and interaction of the members. This group is open to male and female students to discuss their experiences of dating violence and become educated on signs and the cycle of dating violence.

There will be times when the males and females will be separated to complete activities then they will come together to discuss the different gender perspective on certain facts about teen dating violence. Legal and Ethical Considerations It is important that the group leader take precautions to protect all clients from any physical, emotional or psychological harm (ACA, 2005). An informed consent with the parents and the students under the age of 18 years old will be necessary for the students to participate in this support group.

In the consent the confidentiality and the limitations of confidentiality must be explained and the purpose and the focus of the support group must be clearly explained. Failure to explain this information to the students or their parents, could result in legal actions being taken against the therapist that could lead to loss of professional license. It would also be important to discuss the particulars and the process of the group with the parents of the students because they are minors and the parent consent is needed for them to participate in the support group.

References American Counseling Association. (2005). ACA code of ethics. Retrieved from http://www. counseling. org/resources/codeofethics/TP/home/ct2. aspx Ashley, O. S. , & Foshee, V. ( 2005). Adolescent help-seeking for dating violence: Prevalence, sociodemographic correlates, and source of help. Journal of Adolescent Health, 36, 25-31. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Teen dating violence. Retrieved from http://www. cdc. gov/ViolencePrevention/intimatepartnerviolence/teen_dating_violence. html Mulford, C. , & Giordano, P. C. (2008). Teen dating violence: A closer look at adolescent romantic relationships. National Institute of Justice Journal, No. 261. Retrieved from http://nij. gov/journals/261/teen-dating-violence. htm Abstract Teen dating violence is becoming more recognized and important to today’s society as a major safety concern when it comes to dealing with teens. It is important for communities to be aware of this concern and have the appropriate services to provide teens the necessary information that promotes awareness and prevention.

To ensure that teens are empowered with being educated on the dangers of teen violence and knowing how to escape a violent relationship safely is important to the health and development of teens into adulthood. Parents and communities need to understand the dynamics of teen dating violence to break the cycle and to lessen the chances of teens experiencing abuse or violence in a romantic relationship. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature that is relevant to educating, recognizing and preventing teen dating violence.

An analysis of the current literature and research was done to provide information on recognizing the signs that a relationship is abusive or heading towards violence, the reasons surrounding why this type of violence is less likely to be reported, the risk factors associated with teen dating violence, and the impact dating violence has on the development of adolescents. Also, an analysis on the different types of prevention that is helpful to teens in avoiding and safely escaping an abusive or violent romantic relationship.

Most middle school students are not aware that certain behaviors that their romantic partners display are the beginning signs of abuse or violence in the relationship. Dating violence can be defined as the act or the threat of the act of violence that is displayed by one member of a union that is not married that takes place during dating or courting (Glass, Fredland, Campbell, Yonas, Sharps, & Kub, 2003). Most teens in middle school do not recognize the actions that their partners display are signs that they may be in an abusive or violent relationship.

Common behaviors like constantly calling and texting their partner to find out where their partner is at, what the partner is doing, and who their partner is with are jealous behaviors and is considered warning signs that can lead to dating violence. Other warning signs that the relationship is heading towards becoming violent are name calling, putting their partner down, making threats to harm family and friends, using violence to solve problems in the relationship, forcing the partner to do things that the partner does not want to do, and threatening to do self harm (Oklahoma Department of Health, 2010).

At times teens do not take the hitting, jealous and controlling behavior seriously and may just take the hitting as playing around and the jealous and controlling behavior as signs of love and not signs of danger that could lead to getting physically hurt. Herrman (2009) explains that research has found that there are important differences in which teens define interpersonal violence based on gender. She further states that boys are likely to connect the act of violence to being provoked and girls see violence as a way of showing control or to dominate their partner.

Although teen dating violence is prevalent in today’s society, many teens do not tell anyone or report their violent or abusive relationship to adults or the authority. Teens are far less likely to report a violent incident with a partner and it is estimated that about 1 in 11 events of teen dating violence are reported to adults or police and then some incidents are reported but not attended to (Ashley & Foshee, 2005).

The study that Ashley and Foshee (2005) conducted to find the percent of victims and perpetrators that would seek help resulted in showing 60% of the 225 victims in the study and 79% of the 140 perpetrators in the study reported they did not go and ask for help. Sometimes victims are afraid that their partner will come back at them to do harm and make the violence continue or worse and some victims believe that they are at fault or they made their partner act violently because of something they did.

Herrman (2009) explains that some teens that have children by the perpetrator will not report due to being loyal or having to depend on the abuser who is the father. Another factor that could have something to do with teen’s lack of report when they experience teen dating violence is some teens believe that violence is one-sided to the point where boys are the ones who get in trouble more and girls can abuse and it not thought of as serious and do not get in trouble as much as boys.

Herrman (2009) explain that boys report that girls are allowed to do more violence to boys with no punishment because boys do not have considerable injuries in comparison to girls who are abused by boys with significant injuries. This is part of the reason why males do not report incidents of violence or abuse by females and also their macho thoughts of being the stronger one keeps most males from reporting dating violence.

In society today, there is a double standard about who is actually being abused when it comes to males and females due to who is considered stronger species. This should not matter if someone is being abused or being hurt by another person. There are many risk factors that are associated with teen dating violence. If a teen is raised in a family that experiences or observes violence when solving problems it is possible that the teen will act in the same manner.

Ayers and Davies (2011) explain that when teens have violent or abusive behavior shown in the home, the children can learn to behave in the same manner and the act of violence becomes an acceptable way to respond to others when there is a problem. Some studies show that an area where one lives can have an increase in domestic and teen dating violence. On study show that males and females that live in the southern region of the United States has more dating violence rates and may have increased tolerance to violence (Marquart, Nanni, Edwards, Stanley, & Wayman, 2007).

Other studies report that dating violence is more likely in rural environments due to the thoughts about male and female roles, isolation, not having activities that are structured, and the customary practice of some teens driving around with alcohol (Marquart et al. , 2007). Teen dating violence can seriously impact adolescents in many different ways. The violence behavior from a romantic partner can cause physical injuries to the other partner where they may have to go to the hospital.

Herrman (2009) discusses that nearly 8% of teens report going to an emergency room to get care for injuries that they got while in a romantic dating relationship. Teen dating violence can also result in the death of a partner as it was reported in an article in the New York Times (2009) of how a 20 year old girl in Indianapolis was killed by her boyfriend after trying to leave the abusive relationship several times. Teen dating can also have long-term effects on the health of the adolescent during their life like drug and alcohol abuse, depression, low-self esteem, and eating disorders (Oklahoma Department of Health. 010). Violence in a teen relationship can develop into a long term pattern of unhealthy intimate partner violence and the development of poor relationship skill (O’Keefe, 2005). Teens who were victims of dating violence are more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence in their life as an adult. It is important for teens to be aware of the long term effects of dating violence that could continue on into adulthood and dictate the relationship style for future relationships.

Teens that experience dating violence have a greater chance of emotional and behavioral problems as young adults and increased risk of having violent relationships in the future (Healy, 2012). Researchers from a nationally representative survey that examined teens between the ages of 12 to 18 that said they were the victim of a violent dating relationship, examined these young adults five years later and found that these same teens, boys and girls were three times more likely to be involved in a violent relationship as a young adult (Healy, 2012).

Teens who learn and develop negative relationship skills tend to carry on those negative relationship skills into adulthood. To address the issue of teen dating violence there have been many interventions and preventions established to minimize and hopefully eliminate dating violence with teens. There teen dating violence to parents, adolescents, and other adults in the community to raise public awareness like The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline, and the National Center for Victims of Crime (Herrman, 2009). There has also been education in the schools to make the teachers and students aware of the signs and the risk factors.

Herrmann (2009) explain that many schools include prevention topics in the health classes to help students think of ways to improve conflict management skills and to change the dating violence norms. Prevention strategies such as awareness and promoting healthy relationships by providing assistance and addressing change at all levels of social environment the give power to intimate partner violence will eventually enhance the efforts to reduce the risk factors and advance protective determinants (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012).

Teen dating violence is becoming a widespread issue in today’s society and needs to be addressed and made know so parents, school officials and professionals can be aware and know how to assist those in need of help. Making teen dating violence more aware to adolescents and the community will help to reduce incidents of teen dating violence and help to educate adolescents on healthy relationships, what the signs are for teen dating violence, and seek help to deal this issue.

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