The New Dating Violence: What Every Parent Should Know


teenage dating violenceIf your child came home with a black eye or broken bones, you'd go into parental overdrive. Getting to the bottom of the hows, whens, and whointheworldidthistoyous would be your first priority.

Not all teens have visible marks when they're in an abusive relationship, which is what makes them even more dangerous. In fact, your daughter's overly attentive boyfriend could be causing as much damage as a slap in the face.

A recent survey showed 24% of children ages 14 to 17 are aware of a physically abusive dating relationship at their school, but 81% of parents don't believe that dating violence is an issue.

We need to wake up.

Constant checking in, insults, and isolation are all techniques abusers use to gain control over the abused. Really sneaky abusive partners take these actions under the guise of "love" and "concern." What's even scarier, teens today are so easily available; technology is simply another way to intimidate the victim of abuse -- even when the abuser is nowhere around.

Just reading over the handbooks for parents and teens at Love Is Not Abuse, I'm overwhelmed by all of the things I have never considered. I use a BlackBerry, but never thought of it as a tool for an abuser. I've always maintained we keep the computers in a family area, so the kids don't have extended amounts of private time -- but that doesn't mean they won't have access to Facebook accounts elsewhere.

Tentacles of connection have many advantages, but in the hands of an abusive partner, it's downright terrifying how thoroughly someone could threaten your child without you even knowing what was happening.

Download these handbooks and let your teen know about the website and teen abuse hot line, Love Is Respect. Whether they need to anonymously talk about an unhealthy relationship or refer a friend to the site, make sure they know there is help available when feeling trapped.


Image via lindawoods/Flickr

behavior, bullies, sex & dating


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CherB... CherBearCM

Good information, thank you.  This is actually something that does worry me when my daughter does start dating.  I'm glad to know there are sites that can help me help her if ever the need arises.  And it's great there is also a site for teens to know what is right and wrong in a relationship.

nonmember avatar Drew Crecente

Thank you for sharing this important information! In 2006 my teenage daughter was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. I wish that I had known more about this serious issue.

tazdvl tazdvl

Thanks for the info.

nonmember avatar Allboys

Thanks for this post. We are the parents of four boys and raising them to respect women is one of the top priorities for us. I wish there was more information for the parents of boys for what to watch out for in our children. I would really like to know what is normal teen can't stop thinking about you behavior and what is crossing the line.

Peajewel Peajewel

WOW!  I would hope I would know about it!  Thank you so much for this information!

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