Abuse and Mistreatment in Adolescent Couples
Mistreatment and abuse can and does occur in adolescent relationships. After all, this serious behavior does not only pertain to adults.
Violence in adolescence can be the beginning of a series of tormented and toxic relationships.
We need to be conscious that mistreatment has nothing to do with age, gender, or culture. It’s a mistake to classify it into a particular group.
Because of this, we should pay attention and have our eyes open to be able to eradicate it as soon as it appears.
Above all, this is true in adolescence because this is a difficult phase for all young people as they develop their personalities.
Negative experiences in infancy
What we experience in infancy affects us in a very significant way in our adult life.
Because of this, if parents have acted violently, had terrible arguments, or used physical abuse, this can cause adults to repeat this type of behavior.
Sometimes, it’s not what people really want to do. However, it is simply a learned pattern of behavior. Perhaps this is a pain that they carry inside of themselves and it manifests itself in this negative way.
Mistreatment of children, sexual abuse, and lack of bonding are other forms of negative experiences. These experiences can cause an adolescent couple to end up being abusive and violent.
Imitation of what we see
There is another factor which is perhaps more serious. In addition, imitation of what adolescents see or find on the internet can cause abuse.
Technology has allowed us to see things that we did not have access to before. However, it has also made us vulnerable to behavior patterns that we should not learn.
A young person can see commentaries about sexual practices that they may think they can carry out without the approval of the other person. They may read about or see videos of sadomasochism.
We must remember that the youngest adolescents are unable to discern fiction from reality.
Comments about humiliation, submission or control can cause a misconception of what a relationship is meant to be.
Because of this, it is extremely important for parents to try and control what their children see on the internet. However, it’s impossible to control this 100%.
The Basis of Respect
We try to educate children to respect others and to have potentially healthy relationships. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of ground to cover.
Our parents are our main examples. From a very young age, children are spectators of any type of damaging behavior. They don’t imitate at that time, but what happens when they do imitate it?
An adolescent relationship should never be based on mistreatment and abuse.
For example, sexual education in schools should not just be based on issues such as birth control and STDs. It should also focus on healthy relationships, mutual respect, and sexual orientation, etc.
Loving relationships are complicated. They become even more so when we are in a difficult stage, such as adolescence.
In 2013, according to the Spanish National Institute of Statistics, 499 adolescents were victims of abuse by their partners in Spain alone.
If this is true, it shouldn’t seem odd to us that there are so many cases of violence and death in spite of all the measures that we take to avoid this.
It’s important not to turn our backs on nor ignore the importance of this reality.
Adolescents should learn to identify if they are the victims of violence. Sometimes, this is not physical, which we need to remember.
Preventing abuse in teenage couples is basic in order to promote and create healthy relationships as adults.