Dating Violence On The Rise Among Teens

By KBJR News 1

Dating Violence On The Rise Among Teens

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 2:52 PM CDT

Last week, Indiana's governor signed "heather's law" – a new bill that encourages schools to address the issue of dating violence.

At least four other states have also introduced similar legislation this year and others plan to follow.

Recent studies show dating violence is on the rise among teens and has taken a slight upturn during the recession.

Barbara Reyelts tells us how to talk to your kids about love and hurt in this connect with kids report.

"Basically, we all, growing up, romanticize relationships always have this notion that everything is always wonderful and fine living in a fairy tale and men and women treat each other equally."

Many teens, so swept up in the hot romance of their first love, often fail to see the signs that there relationship may be on thin ice.

"I never felt like I was being hurt or anything, it was just a back and forth kind of yelling, nothing more than that."

But experts say many teens who tolerate verbal abuse, later discover it turns physical.

"He slammed me on the bed, that's the only thing he did, he had me pinned down, I'm just punching, kicking him all in his stomach, groin, whatever."

Studies show that violence is an element of about 10% of all dating relationships and some reports indicate an increase that may be tied to the harassment, name calling and ridicule that takes place on the internet.

Experts say parents need to teach their kids how to communicate in a dating relationship.

"Sit down and talk with the child about what is communication and what it means to be in a healthy relationship."

The problem, says therapist Jasmine Willis, is that many young lovers don't have clearly defined limits, and don't know what to do when things turn bad.

"The first you need to do in coming to terms with what is going on in this relationship and the second thing that i would suggest you do is talk to a friend, a family member or someone in your school you can really trust."

Perhaps with those lessons in mind...when kids do fall in love...it won't be a fall that hurts .