Categorized | National News

Social Media Plays Role In Teen Relationship Violence

Crisis Center Psychologist, Ayla Roberts, at a recent workshop with law enforcers on gender based violence, revealed that one out of three young women will experience dating abuse or relationship violence before the age of eighteen.

“Snapchat, FaceBook, Whatsapp, Instagram, among others are a part of this landscape of violence.

“We are often looking at what’s happening face to face, we’re looking for the visible bruises, we’re looking for the visible signs, but on these platforms it is rampant,” Ms. Roberts said.

“We don’t realize that is starts there and it expands, because when the child gets to school they have to avenge their personal character,” she said.

Speaking at the Women’s Initiative for Non-Violence and Development (WIND) Project, Ms. Roberts told police officers who were a part of the workshop that teens are not fully aware of what a they are getting into when they enter a relationship.

“Teens are entering into and forming relationships and they are not clear as to the signs and symptoms of unhealthy relationships, which we know could quickly escalate to abuse, because violence is on the spectrum.

One out of three young women will experience dating abuse or relationship violence before the age of 18,” Ms. Roberts stated.

“That statistics is far too high and its telling us that something needs to be done,” she said.

Ms. Roberts said that although males can also be the subject of gender based violence, it is more prevalent in teen girls because of the culture and the differences in the rearing of the two sexes from birth.

“How is this happening? The way that we raise our boys and girls, how we socialize them to see themselves, how they think and feel about themselves, their roles and responsibility, as well as the expectations we have, that is critical in how they begin to think about the relationships that they are in and how they perform in those relationships,” Ms. Roberts said.

Ms. Roberts said that the psychological effect of violence in teen relationships is not always visible.

“It’s not always seen, so we also have realize that a lot of these perpetrators are crafty in public, they are neatly dressed, and they will never be violent in public.

“You look at the couple walking down the street or eating at a restaurant, or the boy taking the girl to the movies and little do you know that young lady is battling him psychologically or the boy is doing the same to her.

“You see them on Instagram and all of these social media pages.   At this point, this makes teen violence even more significant in the population when we look at is the social pressure, the pressure to present oneself to the world to be a part of something,” Ms. Roberts stated.

Peer pressure is also a key factor according to Ms. Roberts.

“They are figuring out who they are and what they want, but peers have a part in it.

“Their peers are dating so they cannot be the boy in school with no girlfriend, so they have to man up and get a girlfriend.

“Or for they young lady, her friends are in intimate relationships and, so she feels that she needs to, at this point, navigate a relationship, not knowing what is healthy, what is unhealthy or what is abusive,” Ms. Roberts said.

“We, have to teach red flags, to show what they should be looking for, what they should accept and what they should simply turn away,” she said.





Written by Jones Bahamas

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