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Choosing Respect: Developing Healthy Relationships to Prevent Dating Abuse

Dating abuse can be prevented. Adolescence has been characterized as a "window of opportunity” - a time for adolescents to prepare for future relationships by learning healthy relationship skills such as negation, compromise, and conflict resolution. That’s why adults need to talk to adolescents now about the importance of choosing respect and developing healthy relationships.

  • Several studies suggest that adolescents do not see the negative consequences of dating abuse and violence in their friends’ lives. 31% of adolescents report having at least one friend who is in a violent relationship.
  • Acceptance of dating abuse among friends is one of the strongest links to future involvement in dating abuse.
  • Adolescents often believe that unhealthy relationships are the norm. Many relationships seen on TV, in the movies, and in magazines are unrealistic or unhealthy examples of relationships.
  • Qualities like respect, good communication and honesty are absolute requirements for a healthy relationship. Adolescents that do not have this part down before they begin to date may have trouble forming healthy, nonviolent relationships with others.
  • Choose Respect is a nationwide effort to prevent dating abuse before it starts. It encourages adolescents to form healthy relationships with others – before they even start to date.

Content Source: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention

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