Dating violence cycle
It’s only a matter of time before behaviors escalate to a more serious level, Pelaéz said. Victims and perpetrators often subconsciously imitate the behaviors of family members on either side of an abusive relationship.
Bearing witness to violence on a regular basis makes it psychologically difficult for many victims to leave their aggressors.
Young men often mimic behavior of abuse learned from father figures while young women, she said, typically lash out physically or verbally in response to abusive behavior by their male partner.
It wasn’t until she “woke up” one day during a serious, physical altercation with her ex-husband that she realized she needed to leave. This year, members of Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Mental Health Clinic gave free classes to teens and parents that included information about the warning signs of dating violence, the use of social media as a control method, and how to respectfully and effectively communicate their feelings to dating partners.“When it comes to teen violence, there is almost 50/50% (split between men and women).” Pelaéz can’t pinpoint the reason behind why the reported amount of male and female aggressors is nearly equal in teen relationships.Through her work at Family Violence Prevention Services, which offers residential and non-residential resources for victims in abusive relationships, she has observed a number of scenarios.Bexar County is the second highest Texas county, after Harris County which includes Houston, for reported cases of adult domestic violence, according to another TCVF report.
Like domestic violence, dating violence is a progressive pattern of abusive behaviors – physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual – that are inflicted on one partner by the other to maintain power or control in the relationship.There are many reasons why, but teen dating violence is often different from violence in adult relationships.