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Teenage abusers use the same methods to control and manipulate their partners, and teenage survivors feel the same anguish and fear as adult women.The abuse Segovia experienced at the hands of her 17-year-old boyfriend followed a trajectory that adult survivors will find familiar: it started off with verbal abuse. You look like a slut.’ And then it escalated from there,” she said.It’s easy for them to confuse intense or unhealthy behavior and extreme emotional highs and lows with “love.” Segovia didn’t know what a healthy relationship looked like because she had never seen her parents hug or say they loved each other.

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“A lot of the time people think that we’re young, and so it [the domestic violence] can’t be that bad,” she said.

However, the shocking truth is that 23 percent of women who experience some form of partner violence in their lifetime report that the violence first occurred when they were between 11 and 17 years of age, according to the 2011 Center for Disease Control nationwide survey.

“His finger was on the trigger, and I didn’t know if it was loaded or not,” she said. But after that, I was just so scared that when he said things like ‘If you leave, I’ll kill you and your whole family,’ I thought he was capable of that.

So I just didn’t leave anymore.” Segovia finally did leave her abusive partner when he hit her in front of their child, but a lack of resources for teenage survivors meant that she did not get the assistance she needed.

A sudden change in personality or behavior Teenagers are notorious for sullen or moody behavior, but they might be acting out for a more serious reason.

Segovia was a straight-A Catholic schoolgirl who attended church every Sunday, but she soon stopped attending both church and school shortly after meeting her boyfriend.

and that they can get therapy and come out stronger.” As a parent, Segovia is also especially aware of the need to educate parents and teachers about teen dating violence so they recognize the warning signs before it’s too late.

Teenagers will often be too scared or embarrassed to tell the truth so adults need to probe a little deeper if they are concerned by a child’s behavior or appearance.

An unhealthy attachment to a boyfriend/girlfriend It’s also important to watch out for the more subtle signs of an unhealthy relationship.

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