In teenagers, there is currently no material dependence on their partner, but the emotional bond is extremely strong. “Girls claim that what keeps them in a destructive relationship is a mixture of contradictory teachings,” explains a psychologist. They return with promises of improvement and sympathy with their partner, and sometimes simply out of fear (when there is a threat that he or she will harm her or her loved ones). There are such beliefs behind it as: “my love will change him,” “he behaves that way because no one loved him in childhood,” “he will change as soon as he stops drinking.” The reason for staying in such a relationship is also fear of separation, fear of finding another partner, and a lack of support from adults, to whom their suffering is usually not talked about.
Why do teenagers use violence in relationships?
There is no clear answer to the question of why young people use violence. The most commonly cited reason is jealousy stemming from a lack of security. Young men are taught that masculinity means strength, dominance, and control. Therefore, strict beliefs about masculinity and femininity are widespread among teenagers. Boys want to dominate the relationship – girls feel forced to submit. In addition, alcohol and drugs are often added, which strengthen aggressive behavior. Family cases also contribute to this: a boy may have experienced violence in childhood or witnessed his mother being abused, and such a person enters adulthood with the conviction that it is normal.
How to help your child?
If you know or suspect that your daughter is a victim of abuse, do not underestimate it. Proceed slowly, do not tell her to break up the relationship immediately, as it can only cause resistance. Try to control your emotions and have a calm conversation. It is good to ask open questions like: “You seem very sad lately, do you want to talk about it?” “I noticed that Tom is calling you at night too, does it bother you?” Convince your daughter that you are not her enemy, that you are on the same team. Let her reveal all her emotions about her boyfriend and talk about them. If your teenager still wants to stay in a relationship that is destroying her, seek professional help. Remember that if your daughter’s boyfriend threatens to harm her, you should always assume that this threat can be fulfilled.