Dating Violence: The Things Parents Should Look For

Make sure you know the warning signs  to protect your teen from dating violence (photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com)

Make sure you know the warning signs to protect your teen from dating violence (photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com)

Unfortunately, dating violence is all too prevalent amongst today’s teens. The signs of it occurring may not be easily observable, and your teen may even try to hide that it’s happening to them.  So, as a parent, it is imperative to know the warning signs of dating violence and the things to be on the lookout for.

Things Parents and Friends Should Look For:

  • Withdrawing from friends, family & activities they used to enjoy.
  • Avoiding places or people without explanation.
  • Fear of breaking up with partner.
  • Feeling tied down, feeling like he/she has to check-in.
  • Fear of making decisions or bring up certain subjects so that the other person won’t get mad.
  • Trying harder and loving the boyfriend/girlfriend enough in order to make everything fine.
  • Crying a lot, being depressed or unhappy.
  • Worrying and obsessing about how to please his/her partner and keep them happy.
  • The physical or emotional abuse getting worse over time.  (Red Flag Campaign website)

What To Do:

  • Call the police (911) if there are signs of abuse (bruises, fat lips, unexplained marks).
  • Encourage your loved one to talk to a counselor or someone from the domestic violence hotlines.

If you know someone you suspect may be a victim of dating violence, please don’t delay in intervening and getting them the help, and protection, they may need. For a list of additional resources, please see our Resources page.

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