According to Safe Youth; the other big concern these days is what is going on for our young people in their dating relationships.
- 1 in 5 girls report being beaten or abused by a boyfriend by the time she graduates high school.
- 40% of girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.
Know the early warning signs that you're in a dating situation or relationship that could have the potential to become violent.
- 1. Your boyfriend or girlfriend pressures you, soon after you begin dating, to make the relationship very serious, or presses you to have sex.
- Your boyfriend or girlfriend becomes extremely jealous and possessive, and thinks these destructive displays of emotion are signs of love.
- Your boyfriend or girlfriend tries to control you and to forcefully make all decisions where the two of you are concerned, refusing to take your views or desires seriously. He/she may also try to keep you from spending time with close friends or family.
- Your boyfriend or girlfriend verbally and emotionally abuses you by doing such things as yelling at you, swearing at you, manipulating you, spreading false and degrading rumors about you, and trying to make you feel guilty.
- Your boyfriend or girlfriend drinks too much or uses drugs and then later blames the alcohol and drugs for his/her behavior.
- Your boyfriend or girlfriend threatens physical violence.
- Your boyfriend or girlfriend has abused a previous boyfriend or girlfriend or accepts and defends the use of violence by others.
If you're in a dating relationship that in any way feels uncomfortable, awkward, tense or even frightening, trust your feelings and get out of it. It could become, or may already be, abusive.
Always remember: You have every right to say no. No boyfriend or girlfriend has the right to tell you what you can or should do, what you can or should wear, or what kind of friends you should have.
Don't let shame or fear stop you-talk to a parent, a teacher, a religious leader, a doctor, a nurse, or a guidance counselor immediately. You also can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE, and they can direct you to individuals and groups in your community who can help you to make a change.
Check these places out:
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2006 A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America
Ten Years of Saving Lives
THE CLOCK IS TICKING ON WOMEN'S LIVES
The PCUSA has some good resources for worship and small groups
The Clothesline Project
The Minnonite resources
Faith Trust Institute resources for churches
Churches Together worship resource
And if you like to spend some money, here are two places to spend your money which will go toward "Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention" On October 17 you can spend your money at a Home Good Stores. And on October 19th you can spend your money at Marshalls. Now go shopping for a good cause.