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Don’t Ignore the Warning Signs: Teen Dating Violence

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If you’re concerned about warning signs in toxic/ abusive relationships, please take a few minutes to read. Sometimes in a relationship, people tend to ignore red flags in their partner. But what they don’t always realize is that ignoring red flags early on, can lead to a long and abusive journey. 

LHS Resource Officer, Adam Perkins said, “I would say one of the first signs is someone beginning to pull their partner away from their friends and things they enjoy so that they’ll spend all their time with them instead”

Control is almost always one of the first factors of a toxic relationship. Sometimes it can start small with things such as not letting their partner talk to people of the opposite gender, which leads to controlling even bigger things. For example, telling you what you can/ can’t wear, telling you where you can/ can’t go, and even threatening you for leaving your house in general. 

Officer Perkins said, “If there’s violence beginning to happen, things like clothing changing, you know, opting for bigger clothes or clothes with long sleeves to cover bruises, scratches, or anything like that.” 

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Relationships like these can affect relationships for you in the future. It can change your point of view on relationships, change how you feel about yourself, and you could start keeping your guard up too much. Ending these kinds of relationships the second you feel off or sense you’re being disrespected is so important. 

Perkins said, “Obviously if you go through a relationship like that, there’s going to be violations of trust. And that obviously makes it harder for you to trust future partners. Your guard may be up so high that you miss opportunities to engage in future positive relationships. There’s a lot of self worth issues that come from those kinds of relationships. So you end up living a life of constantly feeling like you don’t measure up or you’re not good enough, not attractive enough, not smart enough, those kinds of things.” 

You are never alone when it comes to toxic/ abusive relationships. There are other people going through the same thing and having the same questionable thoughts you are. People are out there to help you and want to see you with someone who’s good to you. 

Perkins said, “You’re not alone and there is a possibility for healthy relationships in the future. You’re lovable and it’s not your fault.”

There are people who want to help you get out and people who know you deserve better. And you do. But unfortunately, leaving for good is a lot easier said than done. Leaving these relationships can be scary and super hard. That’s why it’s always important to remember that there are people who are here to help!! 

Officer Perkins said, “If someone is getting physically hurt, then sometimes you have to be the one to make the tough choice of reporting it for them. It’s a hard choice to make but if you truly love somebody and want better for them, sometimes you have to be the one to initiate that. Encouraging that person, supporting them, letting them know the drill or plan that you’ll be there to listen or offer to help make an exit plan. The biggest way to help is listening. Don’t be quick to offer every fix, but listen to them instead. Life is too short to deal with relationships that are going to damage you like that. There’s always relationships beyond high school and there’s always relationships beyond your teenage years. Teenage years are kind of the years to make those mistakes, but don’t invest your entire life into an unhealthy relationship.”

Help is out there no matter what. Don’t be afraid to ask for it. 

 

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Emma-Rae Osborne, Reporter

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