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Teen dating abuse on the rise


POSTED: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 10:00pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 10:44pm

A new report shows more teens are admitting they are in or have been in an abusive dating relationship.

It's a nationwide survey showing more than a third of teen guys and girls between the ages of 14 and 20 have been in an abusive relationship.

Be it physical, emotional or sexual.

And similar numbers show that both boys and girls have been the abuser.

"I think there is a lot of peer pressure at school and the parents really don't know what's going on with a lot of these things. Teenagers don't tend to tell you everything that is going on," said Tyler resident Cheryl Conway.

Psychologist Stephen Westmoreland says peer pressure and family life can stem the abuse.

"There is a lot of abuse that takes place in the families based on threats or harm to the victim or the victim's family member and the same is true in dating," said Westmoreland.  

Reps from the East Texas Crisis Center say they've been getting more calls and reports from teens being abused by their partner.

But, many are not reporting it.

"I think kids need to be very selective with their friends," said Tyler resident Evelyn Norris. 

Dr. Westmoreland says parents need to teach their kids when they're young and help spot out problem behaviors in others.

Because if not, they might be the next victim of a young abusive relationship.

"They keep thinking that if I am just good enough and nice enough, they'll behave. And that's simply not the case," said Westmoreland.  

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