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One in five high school students in Bexar County will report being abused by someone they are romantically involved with, according to domestic violence experts.
These disturbing local trends echo at the national scale: in 2013, one in every five female high school students in the U. reported physical and/or sexual abuse by a dating partner, according to the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCVF).
“It offers the opportunity for more frequent controlling behaviors.” Demanding access to someone’s private text messages, emails, or social media accounts is a form of abuse – a violation of privacy that may seem innocuous at first to many teenagers.
But those controlling behaviors can escalate and eventually lead to complete isolation of the victim from family and friends. Jealousy is a common, yet confusing, element in abusive teenage relationships, Pelaéz said.
PAVE empowers students, parents, and civic leaders to end sexual violence with prevention education promoting respect of oneself and each other.
“There is an array of emotions in a relationship between two people, all kinds of emotions, and it’s acceptable and understood,” said Marta Pelaéz, president and CEO of local nonprofit Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc.
Futures Without Violence has led the way and set the pace for ground-breaking education programs, national policy development, professional training programs, and public actions designed to end violence against women, children and families around the world.
National Center for Victims of Crime is the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims.
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.