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These are the abusive acts that are more overt and forceful, and often the intense acts that reinforce the regular use of other more subtle methods of abuse.It’s not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive.An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his or her thumb.Your abuser may also threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you. Abuse happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships.Teenagers can choose better relationships when they learn to identify the early warning signs of an abusive relationship, understand that they have choices, and believe they are valuable people who deserve to be treated with respect.

However, these behaviors can become abusive and develop into more serious forms of violence.

Together, we can raise the nation’s awareness about teen dating violence and promote safe, healthy relationships.

In his Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month Proclamation President Obama called on all Americans “to stand against dating violence when we see it.” At a time when an estimated 1 in 10 teens will experience dating violence we all must take this opportunity to amplify our efforts and shine a spotlight on this important issue. Nationwide, youth age 12 to 19 experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault.

Adolescents in abusive relationships often carry these unhealthy patterns of violence into future relationships.

Indeed, children who are victimized or witness violence frequently bring this experience with them to the playground, the classroom, later into teen relationships and, ultimately, they can end up the victims and perpetrators of adult intimate partner violence.