Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Teenagers aged 14-19 are the group with the most reported abusive relationships-- most, too young to identify the harm.

VICTORIA, Texas- “Violence has a lot of different faces, it’s not always the black eye or the broken bones,” this is what the director of victim services at Mid-Coast Family Services Alyssa Frederiksen says about the tough topic of toxic and abusive relationships among teens.

Young love, fairy-tale stories and the promise of a future with someone can be on the minds of many teens. But, that can turn dark quickly.

Unhealthy relationships are seen in every 1 in 10 teens, most times dealing with it alone.

Frederiksen saying that “sometimes the difference between teen unhealthy relationships and adult unhealthy relationships is that a lot of parents don’t know their teens are dating. So if a teen is in an unhealthy relationship, how can they come and talk about it to their parents?” 

According to the CDC, statistics show 70% of teen girls who have been sexually assaulted knew their attacker who would have been a partner, boyfriend, or acquaintance. 

“You can listen to them, believe them, no matter what they are saying, don’t put blame on them, because it’s not their fault, if they’re being manipulated or abused or coerced its not their fault, anybody can fall into that,” adds Frederiksen. 

With changing platforms for dating, teens are accessible through social media more than ever. The control in abusive relationship finds its way on this platform as well.

Mid-Coast Family services the Crossroads, and hopes to educate teens, young adults and parents of warning signs.

“what we try to do is educate, because sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know– we go into high school and middle schools about what a healthy relationship looks like,” says Frederiksen. 

Professionals best advice is to listen, and never judge a victim of abusive relationships.

Mid-Coast Family Services urge parents and teens to reach out for help– a direct texting line is set up locally at 361.443.1587