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Jordyn Lawson of the Genesis Women’s Shelter recently spoke about teen dating violence at the 13th annual Conference on Crimes Against Women (CCAW).

Lawson says preventing teen dating violence starts with educating your students on the nature of relationship abuse.“You won’t know on the first date you’re with an abuser,” Lawson explains.

Call 1-800-899-4000 to speak with a trained advocate who will listen without judgment.

The Power and Control Wheel is a tool our advocates use with survivors to identify patterns of behavior in their relationships.

Many of the survivors we work with have problems with their credit, because of an abuser’s past behavior.

A bad credit history can affect your ability to get an apartment, a job, a car loan, and any number of other things necessary for self-sufficiency.

I had begun to believe his awful lies- how worthless I was, how stupid, how ugly, and how no one would ever want me.” Other survivors have pointed out that while the signs of physical abuse might be noticeable to a friend or family member, the effects of verbal/emotional abuse are harder to spot, and harder to prove. It often involves making the victim doubt their own sanity.

We’ve heard stories of abusers deliberately moving car keys (and in one case, the whole car!

Because sex can be so loaded with emotional and cultural implications, there are any number of ways that the feelings around it can be uniquely used for power and control.

An abusive relationship can include any or all of these types of behaviors, sustained over a period of time and often escalating.

If you or someone you care about is experiencing this and you want to talk to someone about your concerns, REACH’s hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

’”“You have to address the entitlement right off the bat,” Lawson says.

“So you have to explain that, yeah, not getting what you want sucks, but it’s part of adulthood. The biggest way we can combat domestic violence is to teach young boys and young girls that a relationship doesn’t mean you’re entitled to anything.

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