By Shelby Anderson
In high school young students finally get the opportunity to express themselves, and ever so slightly take a step towards adulthood. Part of this marvelous adventure includes dating. Ah! Yes! Dating. Nearly a thing of the past and almost just as outdated as your mother’s prom dress. But on a more serious note, dating in highschool can be many things. After all these years, excitement… You finally found that special someone that understands you, likes you for you, and wants nothing but the best for you. But is that really the case at such a tender age? An age where you focus not only on finding yourself but an age where you set up your future and prepare for, well, life. For some people it is, for most it’s not. Most of the time these relationships start happy and end crappy. But that IS high school ‘love’ right? The truth is domestic violence is a very real issue. An issue that for some is all too familiar. An issue that can happen in juvenile relationships. An issue that can also manifest into something more. For those of you who do not know the proper definition of domestic violence it is as follows:
Domestic Violence: Violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner.
**For more information regarding domestic violence and domestic assault laws and prerequisites in Tennessee please review the link below**
A common misconception about domestic violence is that it only consists of physical harm or abuse to the victim. This is definitely not the case. Domestic violence ranges from physical, verbal, and even sexual abuse all of which can take shape in many different situations. Most of the time abusers exhibit warning signs long before it escalates into anything more. Manipulation, controlling mechanisms, intimidation, secrecy, violation of trust, codependency, and use of the inferiority method are all examples of common warning signs exhibited in domestic abusers. There are so many different warning signs, not all of which can be easily detected. Young women of the high school age or any age for that matter need to understand that it is NEVER okay for a boy or man to put his hands on her. Being of a young age, most high schoolers do not know the correct definition of codependency. It is as follows:
Codependency: Excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically a partner who requires support due to an illness or addiction.
km At a young age codependency is a big issue in relationships. Although it is a common saying, “But I can’t live without them” this terminology is a sure sign of codependency. Bonds like this form during abusive relationships in which a person truly feels as though he or she would not be able to survive without their significant other, no matter how major or minor the situation. Sometimes it is because of financial means. Other times it is due to fear, it really just depends on the couple and their age.
This is not saying that high schoolers should not date, or saying that things like this will always happen in high school sweetheart situations, but that also does not mean that you are exempt from this affecting your life. Although it is always a devastating and sad circumstance, knowing that you have someone to talk to in case things turn awry is always a good backup plan. Even if your significant other is a minor it is still not okay for them to abuse you. Remember this. Anything that makes you uncomfortable, does not feel right, crosses your personal boundaries, or makes you feel any particular negative way (including worthless), should be discussed with someone you trust or law-enforcement. Talking to a trusted adult does not always have to involve a parent. Along with parents there are aunts, uncles, grandparents, older siblings, principals, local authorities, school resource officers and counselors, along with so many more. All of which are devoted to protecting young people from being victimized by domestic violence, whether it be at home, or in a high school relationship. Individuality is the most beautiful part of a human, always keep this in mind when considering opening up to someone in order to allow changes for the better.
Silence Is Toxic
The National Domestic Violence Hotline