This year’s Grammys was filled with all sorts of drama for 22-year-old singer Chris Brown. It marked the singer’s comeback, three years after being arrested for assaulting ex-girlfriend Rihanna the day of the 2009 Grammys, and it wasn’t met completely with open arms. But on the flip side, many women on Twitter celebrated Brown’s return by tweeting that he could beat them up and be violent with them. Also, Chris Brown allegedly approached a woman at the Grammys with the pick-up line: “I promise I won’t beat you!” But in a world where one in three adolescents is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, dating violence is nothing to joke about.
Every year, almost 1.5 million high school students experience dating abuse, and it takes on many different forms. It can be physical, emotional, sexual, verbal or stalking and can happen face-to-face, online or by texting. Some victims don’t realize that these unhealthy relationships are abusive and normalize the abusive behavior which tends to lead to abusive relationships as adults. Teen victims are more likely to become depressed, do poorly in school and take on unhealthy behaviors such as relying on drugs, alcohol and developing eating disorders.
Intimate partner violence affects everyone regardless of gender, race or class, but many are still afraid to speak out when they are being abused. Below are some facts on how this problem affects all of us: