Teen Dating Violence is Rising. Arm Yourself with the Facts

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It's a sad truth that 1 in 3 teen girls in this country has been the victim of either physical, emotional, or verbal abuse while in a relationship, according to a recent survey by Liz Claiborne Inc., and the Family Violence Prevention Fund.

Those numbers are frightening! Why do you think girls stay in those types of situations? Are they afraid to end the relationship? Do they really like having a boyfriend -- no matter what the cost?

Dr. Elizabeth Miller, a teen dating violence expert, gave a test on relationships to a class of middle-school students and every single one of them said being possessive and jealous are components of true love.

"Most teens don't understand what a healthy relationship is, often mistaking the controlling behaviors that characterize abuse for signs of love," Dr. Miller explains.
This false -- and dangerous! -- idea of what "being in love" entails needs to stop now! Every boy and girl in a relationship deserves to be treated with dignity and respect at all times. If your dating partner isn't treating you right, don't think that he or she will eventually change -- even if they promise they will. In most cases, violence only gets worse over time.

If you think you're a victim of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse, tell a parent or teacher. If you feel uncomfortable talking to someone you know about the situation, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-888-799-SAFE (7233) and they'll guide you in the right direction.

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