The Reality of Teen Dating and Domestic Violence

Along with personal experiences and lessons learned from a teenager's parents, many young people acquire social cues from what they see on television. The reality is that reality television is glorifying the things that many may experience trauma from. MTV's show, Teen Mom, premiering its new season later this month, has showed briefly the affects of teen dating violence that progresses to domestic violence. Although this a seriously topic that needs to be addressed, many teenagers are reluctant to share about their experiences.

Teen Mom 2 star Jenelle Evans was recently involved in a physical altercation with her fiance where he was arrested and charged with one count of domestic violence in South Carolina. Although it is unclear whether the altercation will be on the show, this raises the question of how our society can demonstrate healthy relationships for our youth. The access to resources and the support is vital to preventing dating violence.

The abusive behavior that a young person is subjected to while also being unaware of a positive and healthy relationship, can manifest later in life and result in a domestic violence situation. In a national study, conducted by researchers at Cornell University and the Boston University School of Medicine, found that teen victims of abuse were more than twice as likely to be re-victimized in adulthood.

It is important to give young people the ability to distinguish what a good relationship entails so that they later do not feel ashamed and remain silent. Sheela Raja, licensed clinical psychologist, told the Chicago Tribune that the biggest barrier is the shame that the teens feel. Society should give our young people the opportunity to break the cycle rather than perpetuate violent behavior in pop culture.

Chicago Tribune March 2013 - Teen dating violence leaves scars, experts say