We have made it to our sixth blog of the year. February’s topic is Black History Month and Teen Dating Violence. Last week we discussed Black History, Black Girls Are Preyed On By Black Men. In this blog we will be dissecting Teen Dating Violence especially for the Black girls teens who find themselves on the striking end of Intimate Partner Violence aka Domestic Violence.
Intimate Partner Violence isn’t subtle or unknown in the Black Communities. Studies show that Black Women are 35 times more likely to be in a domestic violence relationships than White women. Every 28 hours a Black woman is murdered by her significant other. We are told from a young age a boy who physically abuses or harasses us is him crushing on us. But not only that, we should be flattered and accept that treatment. We enter the dating realm with boys full of toxicity and wet dreams expectations of what a girlfriend should be. We flex, mold, bend and eventually break for these very same boys who move on to new girlfriends inflicting the same pain of toxicity.
One out of eleven high school students in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence from a boyfriend or girlfriend. Those stats get worse for African-American girls because physical abuse happens to us at a higher rate. The CDC’s Youth Behavior Risk Surveillance Study found that Black high-school girls are eighty percent more likely than white girls to be hit, slapped or hurt on purpose by their boyfriends. It’s not a secret that if a child is raised in an abusive home s/he will grow up to be abused or be the abuser. A recent and stark example of this was when Chris Brown physically assaulted Rihanna his then girlfriend after a Pre Grammy Party back in 2011. That situation forced the public to discuss domestic violence particularly with young Black couples.
This means a cross social and economic background Black girls are experiencing teen dating violence at an overwhelmingly high rate. Teen Dating Violence is a quiet epidemic that we can all participate in ending. To first step to ending Teen Dating Violence is to know the signs. So what are the signs to keep our Black Girls Safe? Read the extensive list below.
Red Flags of Teen Dating Violence For friends
Their partner calls them names or puts them down in front of others?
Their partner acts extremely jealous when they talk to friends of the opposite sex, even when it is completely innocent?
Your friend often cancels plans at the last minute, for reasons that sound untrue?
Your friend frequently apologizes for their partner?
Your friend’s partner is constantly checking up on them, calling or texting and demanding to know where they have been?
You’ve seen the partner lose their temper, maybe even get violent when they’re mad?
Your friend is always worried about upsetting their partner?
Your friend is giving up things that used to be important to them, such as spending time with friends or other activities, and is becoming more and more isolated?
Your friend’s weight, appearance or grades have changed dramatically?
Your friend has injuries they can’t explain, or the explanations they give don’t add up?
Red Flags For parents…
Does your child?
Does she make changes in her daily rituals?
Does she retreat from school or activities?
Does she experience isolation from friends?
Does she show a dramatic change in weight, appearance and/or grades?
Does she wear clothing inappropriate for the weather (possibly to hide marks)?
Does she have visible marks or bruises?
Does she spend excessive amounts of time with the person they’re dating?
Does she spend excessive amounts of time in contact with the person they are dating through cell phones and computers?
These lists are a great start to identifying the issue but identify teen dating violence isn’t enough. We need to put it to an end. If you don’t know an adult to turn to for help, don’t hesitate to reach out to loveisrespect 1-866-331-9474, chat at loveisrespect.org or text “loveis” to 22522, any time, 24/7/365. Also, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has life changing resources and immediate support to help victims to find safety from abuse. National Domestic Violence Hotline number is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
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