Teen dating community
is geared towards helping teens identify, understand and stop or prevent the various aspects of dating violence.The site includes a Power and Control interactive wheel of lists and video examples of TDV and advice for recognizing and addressing unhealthy relationships.As difficult as it may be to admit, LGBTQ people – including LGBTQ youth – can be and are perpetrators of violence as well as its victims, and too often, that violence occurs in the context of romantic and/or sexual relationships.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lesbians and gay men experience equal or higher levels of intimate partner violence (IPV) as heterosexuals, with bisexual women suffering much higher rates of IPV in comparison to lesbians, gay men and heterosexual women.While 29 percent of heterosexual youth surveyed reported being physically abused by dating partners, for example, 42.8 percent of LGB youth reported the same.The rates of sexual victimization for LGB respondents was 23.2 percent, nearly double that of heterosexual youth, of whom 12.3 percent reported sexual coercion.Moreover, these myths further marginalize LGBTQ survivors’ who may already be more reluctant to report their abuse or access counseling and other resources because they fear being discriminated against or outed as LGBTQ.
Abuse education and recognition curricula as part of the Safe Dates program work alongside the Speak. Change methods of engaging peer advocates to help teens speak out against negative attitudes and behaviors.Dating violence during adolescence is generally accepted to be a precursor to domestic or intimate partner violence in adulthood.Victims of teen dating violence face a greater risk of problems like depression, suicidality, drug and alcohol problems, and re-victimization in young adulthood, problems that have also been shown to disproportionately affect LGBTQ teens in general.Three-fourths of seventh graders report having a boyfriend or girlfriend, according to a study by the Robert Wood Johnson’s Start Strong program, and many of those students are already experiencing dating violence.Dating violence is a pattern of behaviors, including physical, emotional, or psychological actions, used to exert power or control over a dating partner.
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Start Strong targets teens in the “critical window” age in which behaviors and attitudes can be changed.