February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. This may not mean anything to you, but if you have a teenager or know someone who does - you should pay attention to this because young adult dating violence is a big problem, affecting youth everywhere! ONE in THREE adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner. This figure far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence. ONE in TEN high school students has been purposely hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend. Violent relationships in adolescents can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence. PAY ATTENTIONfor some of the early warning signs of abuse that can help you identify if your child is in an abusive relationship before it's too late. Some of these signs include:
- Your child's partner is extremely jealous or possessive.
- You notice unexplained marks or bruises.
- Your child's partner emails or texts excessively.
- You notice that your child is depressed or anxious.
- Your child stops participating in extracurricular activities or other interests.
- Your child stops spending time with other friends and family.
- Your child's partner abuses other people or animals.
- Your child begins to dress differently.
Knowing that your son or daughter is in an unhealthy relationship can be both frustrating and frightening. But as a parent YOU are CRITICAL in helping your child develop healthy relationships and can provide life-saving support if they're in an abusive relationship! For more information, contact Someplace Safe, or go to www.loveisrespect.org for tons of information, quizes, and more!
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