While there was a time when children and young adults aspired to be like their parents or teachers who influenced their lives it seems that time is fading away. Today's youth strive to look and act like the famous figures who are all over the movie screens and pop charts.
It has been proven that children who witness violence regularly are more likely to become violent themselves. Domestic violence is not something new to society, but the results it is producing is.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a Youth Risk Behavior Survey in 2007. According to the results of the survey, 14.1 percent of Arkansas high school students had been hit, slapped or physically hurt on purpose by their partner.
While there are organizations and individuals out there trying to educate people on the rising teen violence, teens seem to be more interested in what icons like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan are wearing, driving, drinking and smoking.
In a recent article posted on safeplaceslr.org the writer says, "We (adults) cannot continue to gloss over the correlation between adult domestic violence and violence among young dating partners. We cannot continue to underestimate the lasting and devastating effect of intimate partner violence that is so obviously passed down from one generation to the next. Whether violence exists in an adult or a teen relationship, it reveals a great deal about gender inequality, unhealthy relationships, the abuse of power, the level of self-determination among young women and a host of other significant issues."
While it has not been proven that the actions of celebrities influences violence in teens, it is well known that many young adults try to mimic the styles and actions of them. Chris Brown is a prime example of what today's youth obsesses over. Brown is a famous singer, who until recently, was classified as a teen role model.
In 2007, Brown informed his fans, in an interview with Giant Magazine, that he grew up in a home where domestic violence took place. Brown told the magazine that his stepfather used to abuse his mother. "He (stepfather) used to hit my mom," Brown said in the interview. "He made me terrified all the time, terrified like I had to pee on myself," Brown recalled. "I remember one night he made her nose bleed. I was crying thinking, 'I'm just gonna go crazy on him one day.' I still hate him to this day."
While Brown's statements may be true, his hatred for the man who beat his mother did not prevent him from lashing out at his girlfriend. Brown was arrested for alleged felony battery against his long-time-girlfriend, singer, Rhianna. It was reported that she suffered contusions and bite marks from the attack.
Several days after the incident Brown made a public apology stating that he was receiving treatment and support through his family and loved ones. But, an apology does not fix what abuse breaks.
Violent actions and language are practiced in music, movies and the Web sites teens visit every day. And while people who have never been a victim of domestic violence sit back and say they would never be treated that way or allow someone to hit them, the view is different from the victim's chair.
There are several shelters and support groups for victims of domestic violence who are adults, but for teens these things aren't as resourceful. It is important that teens are taught, no matter what they see from celebrities or parents, everyone deserves to be respected, especially in a relationship.
Here are just a few things safeplaceslr.org lists as red flags, or signs there might be violence.
Your dating partner:
* Is intensely jealous.
* Sends you text messages or calls you constantly when they're not with you.
* Tells you what to do, what you can wear and/or where you can go and who with.
* Sneaks around and monitors your calls and e-mails.
* Frequently shows up unannounced.
* Publicly embarrasses you.
* Frequently accuses you of cheating or flirting.
* Keeps you from doing things you enjoy and isolates you from friends and/or family.
* Threatens to kill or harm themselves or you if you break up with them.
Once in an abusive relationship it can be difficult to escape. Parents are encouraged to talk about relationships with their teens. It is also important that parents notice things like mood and behavior changes, and talk about these changes with their teen.