Teen Dating Violence (page 2)
Help your child avoid dating violence
Dating violence is an issue that crosses all economic, racial, age, gender, religious, and class lines. About one in three students will be in an abusive dating relationship by the time they graduate from high school. It is very important that children have positive role models to speak with about the dangers of dating violence.
Dating violence often starts gradually and without physical force. "Dating violence involves a range of coercive and abusive behaviors, including threats, intimidation, isolation and manipulation. The purpose of the abuse is to establish and maintain control over a person and the relationship. By the time physical abuse is present, a pattern of verbal, emotional and sexual abuse has already been established."
Educate your child
The first step in educating your child is to identify forms of abuse and how to get help.
- Explain that you are available to your child and that you want to talk about problems that they may face.
- Talk with your child about how to recognize abuse and how and where to get help. There are many community resources that are available.
- Encourage your child to ask questions. If you don't know an answer to a question, find out together.
- Model non-violence by refraining from using physical violence or bullying behavior.
- If you see someone mistreating another, talk about ways that the situation should have been handled differently.
- Make sure that your child understands that no one deserves to be abused.
- Explain to your child that the abuser is 100% responsible for the abuse, not the victim.
- Be aware of warning signs of dating violence. Learn more at http://www.sexualassault.virginia.edu/dv_checklist.htm or http://www.acadv.org/dating.html#signs.
- Teach your teen about dating safety. Find tips at http://www.acadv.org/dating.html#safety
If you think your child may be in an abusive relationship
- Believe your child, if she/he tells you about possible abuse. Make sure your teen knows you believe her/him.
- Take it seriously. Abuse rarely happens just once and it usually escalates. Abusive relationships don't just work themselves out.
- Listen. Encourage your teen to talk about it.
- Don't be judgmental. Express concern instead of criticism.
- Encourage and support your child. Make sure your child knows you are there.
- Focus on your teen. Point out how unhappy your teen appears in the relationship, rather than saying what you think about your teen's partner.
- Make sure your teen has friends and other people for support. An abusive partner may try to isolate your teen.
- Help your teen make decisions and think through the consequences. She/he is the one who must live with the decisions. Trying to force your child to do something she/he doesn't want to probably won't work.
- If your child decides to leave the relationship, tell her/him to make it definite and final. But be aware that it may take repeated attempts to leave.
- Be patient. This may take a long time.
- Have your teen create a safety plan - especially when leaving the relationship. http://www.acadv.org/dating.html#planning can help.
- Help your child get resources. Use the resources listed here for valuable information and help. You may also want to get support from someone at your child's school - a counselor, principal, nurse, etc.
1-800-494-8100 (toll free, 24 hours a day)
Victims of Crime Helpline gives information and referrals on any type of violence or victimization. The service is confidential and does not subscribe to caller ID.
Day One, TheSexual Assault and Trauma Resource Center
Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence
University of Virginia, Sexual Assault Education Office "For parents & partners: How you can help"
"Are you in an abusive relationship: A checklist"
Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence
1 Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence http://www.ricadv.org/statistics.html Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence http://www.acadv.org/dating.html#statistics
2 Reaching and Teaching Teens to Stop Violence, Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition (2002). http://www.ndvsac.org/page3.html
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- Child Development Theories
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Social Cognitive Theory
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- The Homework Debate
- Problems With Standardized Testing