Research about domestic violence has almost always exclusively focused on adults, with data highlighting the fact that the vast majority of domestic violence victims are women and that woman of all ages and socioeconomic status can be affected. However, according to NPR, a recent study may have revealed alarming information about domestic violence and teenaged victims.
When teen dating becomes deadly
A recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics is the first of its kind, as there have been no other studies that have explored domestic violence and fatalities among teens. Between 2003 and 2016, more than 2,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 were killed. About 150 of those victims — or roughly 7 percent — were killed by a person to which they had been currently or previously linked to romantically. About 90 percent of the victims were women.
The study found that in 80 percent of those cases, the killer was a male over the age of 18 years old. The average age of the female victims was 17.
Far too often, parents and other adults in leadership positions ignore the relationships of teens as these are largely considered to be flings or fits of passion. These relationships rarely last, and it's not uncommon for adolescents to break up and enter into new relationships on a regular basis.
However, this study highlights the reality that domestic violence can happen among this age group, and there can be deadly consequences. With this data now available, parents, educators and health practitioners can be more aware and more vigilant when working with teens.
Signs your teen may be in an unhealthy relationship
To prevent the short- and long-term consequences of domestic violence, parents and other adults need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of an unhealthy relationship.
These symptoms can include the following:
- You begin to notice changes in your teen's habits or interests. A sudden change in overall mood or in general interests can be a sign that they are in a relationship with a controlling or manipulative individual.
- You start to find that your teen is constantly updating his or her partner about their whereabouts or activities. Technology has changed the landscape of teen relationships, and in an unhealthy relationship, a teen may feel the need to constantly provide information to their partner.
- You feel that the relationship is moving forward quickly, and there are immediate signs of a serious commitment. Any talk of love or marriage within the first days and weeks of a relationship is a serious warning sign that your teen is not in a healthy relationship.
- You notice physical signs of abuse, such as bruises or unexplained injuries. This requires immediate attention from both you and your teen's physician.
Has your teen been a victim of domestic abuse?
At the first sign that your teenager is experiencing emotional or physical abuse at the hands of their significant other, you need to take action. It's important to secure the help and guidance of an experienced lawyer. The right attorney will be able to help you navigate through the legal system and advocate for their rights.
Don't allow your teenaged son or daughter to become the victim of domestic violence. Contact us today to set up a consultation appointment to discuss the specifics of your case.