The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NW counselor gives warning signs to dating violence

By Amanda Gomez/reporter

It is important that people know their value and self-worth so they do not have to look for external validation somewhere else, a NW counselor told students.

Jamie Stroud presented Expect Respect: Danger Signs of Dating Violence on NW Campus March 5.

Statistics show that 75 percent of teens and young adults have experienced dating violence or know someone who has. With numbers so high, “it is important that we teach adolescents their value,” Stroud said.

“Values are taught at a young age,” she said.

When young girls look for external validation, they set themselves up for an unequal relationship, Stroud said. This can give the other person power over them, which can lead to dating violence.

One thing to look at is the use of the Internet. A study by Patrick Carnes in 2010 showed that a child’s first exposure to porn is at age 9. Adolescents look at a screen three to 12 hours a day, which does not help them develop social skills, Stroud said. This lack of social skills from overuse of the Internet relates to dating violence because people start dating between 12 and 13 years of age.

“Boys and girls are learning bizarre things, and adolescents are missing opportunities to develop emotional maturity,” she said. “They begin to sexualize a relationship before having a real one.”

It is important to develop socially and emotionally by getting out and learning, Stroud said.

“Internally, we can be different ages,” she said.

Danger signs of dating violence can come in many forms. Some examples include unwanted touching, forced sexual favors, belittling, explosive temper, possessiveness, threats, name calling and physical abuse.

“We tend to normalize behavior,” she said.

Giving an excuse to bad behavior will only make things worse, Stroud said.

“It will not change,” she said.

A victim might feel helpless, anxious, threatened, humiliated, protective of their partner or afraid of getting hurt, Stroud said.

If people know someone going through dating violence, it is helpful to be a good listener, offer friendship and support.

“Tell them you are worried and educate yourself,” she said. “It just takes one person to show they care about us.”

Some precautions Stroud offered included always updating friends and family on whereabouts, memorizing important numbers, going out in groups and calling 911 for emergencies.

“In relationships when things are out in the open, they are less dangerous,” she said.

Expressing feelings is important to success in a relationship. Stroud said people should get to know themselves first.

“Instead of looking for a partner, look for friends,” she said.

Having people there to help and offer support is essential, Stroud said. One website to learn more information on dating violence and relationships is loveisrespect.org.

“Make sure you finish education to take care of yourself, “ she said. “It will make us independent of external validation.”

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