Images audio

Dating Violence and Controllng Relationships On the Rise Among Teenagers

By Rhonda Miller | Published 09 Oct 2012 09:44pm | comments
Gulfport High School students, left to right, Olivia Appel, Emma Warr, Kennedy Butler and Savannah Metz say they don't see many overly-controlling relationships among their friends.

Mississippi’s weak economy and scarcity of jobs are stressful factors that can cause trouble in domestic relationships. And as MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports, teenagers are not exempt. 

At the Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence, community educator Rene Davis says a rise in economic stress often leads to an increase in violence in the community and in the home.

"What we’re seeing more than anything else, here locally, after Katrina, with the economy, after the oil spill, is not just increases in the number of calls, but that people who do leave a violent situation and come into shelter are sometimes staying longer. It's harder for them to find a job and set up an independent safe family environment."

Davis says sometimes there’s no physical abuse, but emotional abuse may also be domestic violence. She says those problems are showing up at younger ages.

"There is an increasing problem nationally with teen dating violence. With the Internet, people hear a whole lot about bullying, but they don’t hear necessarily so much about controlling relationships that the teenagers are going through."

Davis says she’s done training on domestic violence at South Mississippi schools, including Gulfport High School. Cindy Horn is a guidance counselor at Gulfport High.

"I think a lot of times girls don’t come into us willing to talk about that kind of thing, because  they don’t even recognize it themselves at first. So they’ll start off talking about a relationship and the attention they’re getting, but they’re not at the point of realizing that it’s something that would be considered overly controlling."     

Seventeen-year-old Gulfport High student Katelin Black says she saw a friend go through a troubling relationship.

"The boyfriend was older, first of all, and that he was really, really clingy and controllive and wouldn’t let his girlfriend hang out with friends or anything, and had to know where she was constantly and he... turned out to be... dangerous."

According to the Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence, one-in-three teenagers, male and female, are affected by teen dating violence or controlling relationships.  

Rhonda Miller. MPB News. Biloxi.

 

Images

Gulfport High School students, left to right, Olivia Appel, Emma Warr, Kennedy Butler and Savannah Metz say they don't see many overly-controlling relationships among their friends.


BACK TO TOP

Comments

MPB will not tolerate obscenities, threats/personal attacks, hate speech, material that is ethnically or racially offensive, abusive comments, comments off topic and spam, to name a few. You can see a complete list of the MPB guidelines by viewing our terms of service. If you spot a comment you think violates these guidelines, report it to the moderators by clicking "x" next to the comment, then "report”. MPB reserves the right to adjust these guidelines. If you have a suggestion, please contact us.



BACK TO TOP