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Life Lessons: Teens and dating

Life Lessons: Teens and dating

LOWER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. - Studies show women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of dating violence.

That's why prevention experts try to speak with girls and boys before they reach the age of 16.

Experts say the discussion should be an ongoing one between parents and kids.

We recently listened in as some prevention educators from Turning Point spoke to kids at Lower Macungie Middle School in the East Penn School District.

Brittany Leach is a prevention educator for Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley. She talks to kids about what is abuse but also what a healthy relationship should look like.

"I talk to them about what sort of traits should you be looking for in a healthy relationship? What's going to guarantee you that? For every person it's different and every relationship is different but there are certain things you should be expecting. You should expect that they're going to respect you, that they're going to be able to communicate with you, that there's going to be equality," says Leach.

She says it is especially difficult for young people in relationships today because of social media.

Studies say teens report being text messaged 10, 20 or 30 times an hour by a partner trying to find out where they are and what they're doing.

"Especially with geotagging, that's caused some relationship problems with teens I've seen because they didn't really realize their partner was tracking everywhere they were going through Facebook and apps because everything was geotagged," Leach explains.

She says parents should be having conversations at home about healthy relationships and abusive ones.

" I would just suggest that you talk to your kids and bring it up as a subject. Ask them what's going on in their relationships but refrain from being judgmental."

Experts say teenagers, like adults, sometimes have trouble recognizing they are in an abusive relationship.

You can get more information on warning signs at the website loveisrespect.org.


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