(WWLP) – Each year, a teen is affected by dating violence within the United States.

CDC reports that nearly 1 in 11 women and about 1 in 15 men high school students in the last year were affected by physical dating violence.

Types of violence that occur between two people in a close relationship, according to CDC:

  • Physical violence
    • Examples: Hitting, kicking, pushing
  • Sexual violence
    • Examples: Forcing a partner to take part in a sex act
  • Psychological abuse
    • Examples: Name-calling, insulting, threatening
  • Stalking
    • Examples: Repeated unwanted or threatening phone calls or messages, showing up unwanted

These types of relationships can impact a developing teen’s mental health by increasing depression and anxiety symptoms that could lead to thoughts of suicide. Additionally, captivates in unhealthy behaviors such as alcohol consumption, tobacco, or using drugs.

In the pre-teen and teen years, the CDC finds that it’s important for youth to start learning skills that will help them to build healthy relationships.

Mass.gov provides ways to help teens understand healthy relationships:

  • Encourage open, honest, and thoughtful reflection. Discuss with teens their values and expectations for healthy relationships.
  • Be sensitive and firm. Understanding the changes a child could be facing by talking openly and respecting their opinions.
  • Understand teen development. The “normal teenage behavior” will evolve from mood swings to risk-taking. These developmental stages of life play a significant role in teens’ personalities and actions. Mass.gov says, “knowing what’s “normal” is critical to helping you better understand and guide young people.”
  • Understand the pressure and the risk teens face. Some pressures teens face are in relation to sex, substance use, and dating.
  • Take a clear stand. Providing teens with knowledge on how you feel about disrespect, the use of abusive or inappropriate language, controlling behavior, or any form of violence will.
  • Make the most of “teachable moments.” Addressing healthy and unhealthy relationships can be done through the use of TV episodes, movies, music lyrics, news, community events, or the experiences of friends.
  • Discuss how to be an ‘upstander.’ If a teen observes the unhealthy treatment of their peers, they should be aware of how to properly stand up for friends.
  • Accentuate the positive. “Conversations about relationships do not need to focus solely on risky behavior or negative consequences,” says Mass.gov. Conversations should help healthy relationships form.
  • Be an active participant in your teen’s life. Figure out the teen’s friends and interests.
  • Be prepared to make mistakes. Mistakes will happen, but teens should continue to receive input on the responsible choices they should be making.