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Teen Dating Violence: How to Help Your Teen

Interview Transcript:

Hi, I'm Victoria VAldez a counselor who specializes in working with children and teens here in Brentwood Tennessee. Today I have Yadira Gonzales from the sexual assault center in Nashville to talk with me about teen dating. Which is a very important topic thank you, Yadira.

  1. Can you tell us a little about who you are and a little about the agency you work for?

  • Answer: my name is Yadira Gonzalez I am Puerto Rican born and raised I have lived in the Nashville area for 16 years and I work for the sexual assault center as a Clinical Coordinator and Bilingual Clinical Therapist. The SAC’s mission is to provide healing for children, adults, and families affected by sexual assault and to end sexual violence through counseling education and advocacy. 

  1. Can you tell us what is considered dating violence among teen relationships?

  1. Answer: dating abuse it's a pattern of physically verbally emotionally and or sexually abusive behaviors used by one individual to maintain power and control over the other. 

  1. What are the numerical statistics of teens affected by teen dating violence?

  • Answer: according to loveisrespect.org 1.5 million teens experience dating abuse of some form each year and only 33% ask for help.

  1. What are some red flags to help teens and parents look for violence in a relationship?

  • Answer:

    • Emotional abuse: blames you for their behavior. Makes everything your fault.

    • Violate your privacy: look through your phone. demands your online passwords. 

    • Peer pressure: tells you how to dress and how to act. Pressures you to use cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, or to have sex when you're not ready.

    • Harassment: constantly text or call to check up on you. Follow you or shows up un-invited. Spreads rumors about you.

    • Isolation: uses looks or actions to scare you or make you afraid. Destroys your property. Yells or curses at you. Doesn’t want you to spend time with family or friends.

    • Threats: Talk about violence or suicide if you end the relationship.

    • Humiliation: calls you names or puts you down in front of others. Shares personal information without your permission.

  1. What are ways parents can help their teens if realized they're in a violent relationship?

  • Advice for parents.

    • if you as suspect that your teen may be in an abusive relationship. 

      • It is important to listen to your teen without interruption or judgment towards their dating partner. Your teen may still have strong feelings for their dating partner despite the abuse. 

      • If it is too difficult for them to talk to you about their relationship, help them identify someone (an adult) they may feel more comfortable talking to.

      •  If they abuse (verbal, emotional, physical) escalates or if there is sexual abuse, You may contact school officials, the Police or Child Protective Services.

        • Advice for teens

No one deserves to be abused. Remember that everyone is responsible for their own behaviors. It's not your fault and you can't change the behavior of your dating partner. It is important to ask for help from a trusted adult and develop a plan to keep you safe.

  1. What are local resources for parents or teens who need help?

  • If there has been sexual violence within the relationship

    • They may contact The Sexual Assault Center:

      • For Counseling or advocacy resource they can call 615-259-9055

      • If they are experiencing a crisis they may call our crisis number at 1-866-811-7473

      • Or if they have had a recent sexual assault and 16 years old or older, they may also come to our Safe Clinic located at 101 French Landing Dr. Nashville, TN 37228 or Call 615-258-5888. The Safe clinic services include; Medical Legal Exam or prevention medical services such as std testing and prevention.

    • If they are younger than 16 and have experience sexual violence, they may go to OurKids.com make an appointment for medical help and counseling.

  • Our Kids 

    • For help or to make an appointment. (615) 341-4911

    • Located at 1804 Hayes St, Nashville, TN 37203.

  • Nashville Childrens Alliance

    • Nashvillechildrensalliance .org

    • Call for Counseling, forensic Interview or advocacy resources at (615) 327-9958

    • Located at: 610 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37210

  • Family Safety Center

    • Call at (615) 880-1100

    •  Located at 610 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37210

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