Friday, February 12, 2021

Dating violence: Young love shouldn't be dangerous

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2021 at 8:45 AM

click to enlarge SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock

Romance is top of mind for many young people in Michigan planning to celebrate Valentine's Day this weekend. And while teen romance can be tricky, it shouldn't be dangerous.

Paige Welch — a senior at Dewitt High School — is on the Michigan Youth Girls Advisory Board, a program of the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health.

Welch explained that many teens don't know that relationship violence can be physical, psychological, or emotional. She said manipulating or controlling behaviors are becoming more common in young relationships, primarily due to social media.

"It's very hard to be happy and to feel safe when you're being questioned about who you're talking to," said Welch, "you're being questioned about where you are, and especially when it starts getting into giving passwords."

During Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in February, Welch and other advisory-board members are educating their peers about healthy relationships. It's estimated that one in three teens experiences some type of abuse by a romantic partner.

An unhealthy relationship may start with control struggles, pressure, and inconsiderate behavior, and can escalate into more abusive tactics — with accusations, isolation and physical violence. Welch noted that it can happen in all types of relationships, regardless of a person's sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender.

"For some reason, society does have a harder time believing that it does happen to males," said Welch. "But it can happen to anyone, at any time in their life. And when it does happen, they need to have resources. And it's hard for males to get the resources when it's primarily geared towards women."

Welch encouraged parents to be proactive and talk to their children about healthy relationships and consent before they start dating. She added that the conversation should be factual, realistic, and honest.

"When we teach our younger kids about stuff, we don't use proper terminology because we're afraid that we can't share things with them like that yet," said Welch. "When in reality, it's the perfect time to teach them those things, because they're going to be receptive when they're little than when they're older. "

Teens and parents can get more information on healthy relationships and abusive behaviors online at

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 12, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2022 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation