Teens who abuse their girlfriends or boyfriends do the same things as adults who abuse their partners.Teen dating violence is just as serious as adult domestic violence. In adult domestic violence, women are more often the victim.“Of teenagers who are in abusive relationships, 3 percent will tell an authority figure, 6 percent will tell a family member, but 75 percent will tell a friend - that’s why we focus on kids,” former Middlesex County, Mass., District Attorney Gerry Leone tells “48 Hours”.
Abuse can occur regardless of the couple's age, race, income, or other demographic traits.
There are, however, many traits that abusers and victims share in common.
The Centre for Promoting Alternatives to Violence describes abusers as being obsessively jealous and possessive, overly confident, having mood swings or a history of violence or temper, seeking to isolate their partner from family, friends and colleagues, and having a tendency to blame external stressors.
Meanwhile, victims of relationship abuse share many traits as well, including: physical signs of injury, missing time at work or school, slipping performance at work or school, changes in mood or personality, increased use of drugs or alcohol, and increasing isolation from friends and family.
This abuse/violence can take a number of forms: sexual assault, sexual harassment, threats, physical violence, verbal, mental, or emotional abuse, social sabotage, and stalking.
It can include psychological abuse, emotional blackmail, sexual abuse, physical abuse and psychological manipulation.
Breakup violence among teens is a crime that has no zip code. A relationship ends and what happens is an emotional surge of uncontrollable anger.
It can be verbal or physical and sometimes, as in the case of Wayland, Mass., teen Lauren Astley, it can end in death. Researchers estimate that one in three young adults between the ages of 14 and 20 has experienced some form of dating violence.
Dating violence crosses all racial, age, economic and social lines.