Written by Nicole Porter
Last updated on December 11, 2012 @ 7:41PM
Created on December 11, 2012 @ 7:33PM
Most teen relationships usually start with a little teenage bliss. Every once in awhile, there may be some screaming matches. But for some, this escalates and relationships because mentally or physically abusive. A new study shows that this type of relationship can have lasting effects.
The most important thing is to get out of any abusive relationship as soon as possible. Of course at times this is easier said than done but if you're in one, you need to turn to an adult who can help you do so.
This new study shows that teen dating violence leads to mood and behavior problems as well as an increased risk for future violent relationships. Representatives from Hope Inc., which helps protect those in abusive relationships, said they often have women come in who were either abused in their younger years or saw their parents in an abusive relationship.
That's part of why Hope goes into the middle schools to teach the kids about what a healthy relationship should look like. They compare the good parts of relationships to bad parts and also explain to them what abuse.
Advocates tell the kids ways they can get out of relationships, which always start with turning to a trusted adult if you feel threatened. There's also some warning signs for teens, or anyone, who are in an abusive relationship.
"Things that you can look for from the beginning are extreme jealousy, controlling behavior, very quickly saying 'I love you,' early in the relationship, isolating you from your family and friends, verbal abuse, threatening you and just trying to control you in general," said Tina Fowler, Hope Outreach Supervisor.
As an adult, the most important thing you can do is believe a teen who comes to you saying they feel threatened. Then you should try to direct them if they need help whether that be law enforcement or programs like Hope.
Sheriff Albert Marano said victims can go to places like Hope to find out how they can get the police involved or they can "...come to law enforcement on their own and get support. Domestic violence laws are very strict. They're very specific so it's easily handled through any law enforcement agency."
Some things you may see in others that could be a sign they're being abused are change in sleep and eating habits or teens becoming reclusive.
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