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Chicago Violence Taskforce reports-Culture of Abuse Amongst Teens

Topic: Chicago Violence Taskforce reports-Culture of Abuse Amongst Teens

Kathy Motlagh

unnamed (1) A recent study by the University of Chicago revealed that abuse in teenage relationships is both prevalent and, surprisingly, accepted. Of the Chicago youth that were surveyed, 68% reported themselves as victims of adolescent relationship abuse, and 65% identify as having experienced psychological abuse specifically. Psychological abuse is the same type of emotional manipulation that a bully might leverage on its victims.

The survey subjects were all in committed relationships, which indicates that teenagers typically make an active decision to forgive psychological abuse. Why? One factor may be their inexperience; they simply don’t know what a relationship is supposed to be like. As a society we can combat violence among teens by teaching our children to not only identify unhealthy behaviors in relationships, but also to confront the situation either by opening a discussion or walking away. Another factor in why teens accept abuse in a relationship may be that they don’t consider the behavior to be negative, or at least not negative enough. Consider this astounding statistic: 62% of respondents admitted to participating in psychological abuse themselves. Knowing that, generally, survey respondents are less likely to admit to these types of behaviors, and because the disparity in this study between victims and participants is so small, it seems that the culture of disrespect among teenagers in Chicago is simply accepted. Continue Reading →