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Teens, dating and violence


Parenting a teenager can be hard these days, with sexting and cyberbullying and all of the things that didn’t exist when we were teens ourselves. But there’s another threat, and it’s been around for a long time: dating violence.

Almost half of American teenagers have been in a relationship in which they felt controlled, threatened or pressured to do things they did not want to do, according to a national poll from Family Violence Prevention Fund.

That poll also found that nearly one in three is a victim of sexual or physical abuse or threats of physical abuse.

And nearly one in four has been victimized through technology. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control now considers electronic aggression a form of abuse.

Fran Inge, director of Virginia Family and Children’s Trust Fund said:

While advanced technology has many positive benefits, we’re also seeing it used to abuse and humiliate others. And because it’s so instant, things can escalate very quickly.

She continues with this advice for parents:

Talk to your kids. Find out about their friends and relationships. Ask questions. Know what’s going on in their lives and how they are using technology. If something is getting out of hand, take action and contact authorities. As a parent, you not only have a right to get involved, you have a duty.


  • Carol Olson

    The Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault (RCASA) provides a 24-hour hotline for teens who experience sexual assault/abuse. The hotline provides support and information for those reporting sexual violence, answerers questions about sexual coercion, and gives information on how to access forensic examinations if needed. RCASA provides counseling for survivors of violence and their parents. RCASA also provides education and prevention programs for schools, community groups and professionals. Hotline: 540-371-1666, Counseling: 540-371-5502.

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