Students at Corona del Sol High
School are close to the national
average when it comes to statistics
pinpointing teen dating violence.
According to a Bureau of Justice
Special Report, 40 percent of high
school students say they know
someone their age who has already
experienced some type of violence
during a dating relationship.
Typically, in dating violence, one
partner tried to maintain power and
control over the other through some
type of abuse.
Although most victims are young
women, dating violence can be found
in all racial, social and economic
groups, as well as among both sexes
and age categories.
Dating violence can include verbal
and physical violence and forced
sex. In an informal random survey
taken at Corona, 37 per cent of the
respondents knew someone who had
experienced some type of teen dating
One of the main problems with teen
violence is that teenagers
frequently do not realize they are
in an impending volatile situation
until it is too late.
Teenagers can often choose better
relationships if they are able to
identify the early warning signs of
an abusive relationship. So how do
you recognize behavior in a date
that may eventually lead to
aggressive or abusive actions?
According to the experts, there are
several signs that can help teens
identify the potential for date
violence in others.
For example, does the person you are
dating get extremely jealous and
angry when you go out with or talk
to others? More than 75 percent of
Corona respondents said they were
either dating or had dated someone
who expressed this type of behavior.
“One of my friends could not go out
with anyone unless she constantly
told him where she was and what she
was doing,” said one Corona teen.
Another behavior that should make
you think twice about dating a
person has to do with privacy. When
asked if they were dating or had
dated someone who violated their
privacy by reading their notes to or
from someone and/or went through
their backpacks, purses or other
things without permission, 80
percent of the Corona respondents
said they had.
“He looked through my cell phone
without my permission,” one
respondent said. “He was trying to
read my text messages when I caught
Other warning signs include
constantly checking up on you,
unpredictable mood swings and trying
to make you choose between him/her
and your friends and/or family.
Think twice about dating someone who
has ever held you down, pushed, hit,
kicked or thrown something at you.
The fact that only 10 percent of
Corona respondents answered yes to
this physical abuse warning sign is
Teenagers often do not admit to
violence in a relationship because
they are inexperienced with dating
relationships, are pressured by
peers to act violently or are
seeking independence from their
“One time we broke up and she jumped
me after school,” said one Corona
teenager about his current
girlfriend. “I was frightened by her
sudden change in behavior.”
“I had to be constantly on the
lookout for this one girl because
she kept throwing things at me after
we broke up,” said another Corona
“I seemed to run into her everywhere
Threatening violence or doing
something to your car, house or
property after a breakup is another
sign. Surprisingly, 30 percent of
the Corona respondents said this had
happened to them in a current or
“I never knew what I was going to
find when I went out to get in my
car,” wrote one Corona teen.
“Several times my car was egged or
had creepy messages written on the
windows. I had to start driving my
mom’s car to school to keep her
Be wary of someone who says he or
she can’t live without you, and
imposes restrictions on the way you
dress or your appearance.
Stay clear of someone who humiliates
you by putting you down in private
or in front of others, blames others
for his/her problems or feelings,
threatens suicide if you leave
him/her or you find yourself unable
to disagree with them.
Dating someone who harasses you
after you break up by following you,
showing up uninvited, spreading
rumors about you and/or makes prank
phone calls is a warning sign that
47 percent of the Corona respondents
identified in their present or past
Once a teenager gets involved in an
abusive relationship, it is often
hard for them to get out. Sometimes
they fear for their personal safety
or they don’t want anyone to know.
It may be, once again, that they
don’t recognize they are in a
potentially abusive situation.
Parents and other adults can help by
looking for these clues that may
indicate if a teenager is
experiencing dating violence:
Physical signs of injury; truancy;
dropping out of school; failing
grades; indecision; changes in mood
or personality; use of drugs or
alcohol; emotional outburst; and
If you or someone you know is in a
potentially abusive relationship,
there are several ways to get help
in ending the relationship.
First, seek help from family, a
teacher or other adult that you can
trust. You can also go to a local
domestic violence program for help
but it may be easier to call someone
who specializes in teen dating
violence such as the National Teen
Dating Abuse Helpline available 24
hours at day at 1-866-331-9474.
Here you can talk one-on-one with a
trained peer advocate who can offer
support and connect you to resources
seven days a week.
You can also chat online with
trained experts who can discuss your
options from 2 p.m. to midnight at
If you break up with someone and he
or she continues to harass or follow
you, take legal action such as a
restraining order or assault charges
to protect yourself and your family.
In addition, you should think ahead
about ways to protect yourself if
you are in a dangerous or
potentially dangerous relationship.
Design your own safety plan around
these key strategies:
What people at school can you tell
in order to be safe such as
teachers, principals, counselors and
Consider changing your school locker
and your route to and from school.
Find someone as a buddy for going to
school, classes, and after school
Think about what friends you can
tell to help you remain safe.
If you are stranded somewhere, who
could you call?
Keep a journal describing the abuse.
Think about where you could go
quickly to get away from an abusive
The best way to date safely and
avoid teen violence is to consider
utilizing a few safety strategies
before dating a new person.
First, consider double dating on the
first few dates.
Make sure you know the exact plans
for the evening and make sure a
parent or friend also knows the
plans too before you leave.
Realize that alcohol and drugs
reduce your ability to react.
Before leaving a party with someone
you do not know well, be sure to
tell another person all the details.
Be firm and straightforward in your
relationships and trust your
If you feel uncomfortable in a
situation, remain calm and come up
with a plan to remove yourself from
Keep in mind that statistics show
that approximately 40 percent of
date-rape victims are young women
from 14 to 17 years of age and that
more than half of the young women
raped knew their rapist either as a
boyfriend, friend or causal
Six out of 10 rapes of young women
occur in their own home or a friend
or relative’s home and not in some
dark alley or the back seat of a
Last but not least, approximately
seven percent of all murder victims
in 2002 were young women who were
killed by their boyfriends.
Studies also show that female abuse
against their male dates is on the
If you realize after reading this
article that you are in an abusive
relationship, take steps to help
yourself get out by telling your
parents or another trusted adult.
If that seems too difficult, call
one of the teen help lines listed in
this article or go online to chat
with a trained professional in
dealing with teen dating violence at
. Before dating
anyone new, come up with a plan to
keep yourself safe until you get to
know your date better.