Teen Dating Violence - Adults

What would you do if you thought your child was in an abusive relationship?

Although many parents don't believe that violence can happen to their teens, abuse can happen to anyone. One in three teens will experience dating abuse and there are things you can do to help as a parent.  Here are some tips:

  • It’s never too early to discuss healthy relationships and self-respect with your teen. Help your child establish a Dating Bill of Rights and guide them through dating do’s and don’ts.
  • Know the signs that your teen could be in an abusive relationship. (See below)
  • Look past the myths and get the facts.
  • Understand the severity and prevalence of teen dating violence. (Click here for statistics on teen dating violence)
  • Encourage dialogue with your teen about dating abuse. If your teen wants to talk, let them and listen quietly.
  • Learn what to say if your teen approaches you about teen dating violence.
  • Take whatever safety measures necessary; like having friends walk your teen home, consider changing your teen’s schedule or getting the school’s assistance, if necessary.
  • Call PADV’s crisis line for assistance in creating a safety plan at 404-873-1766.

What are the signs?

Sometimes these signs are a part of being a teenager but when these changes happen suddenly or without any explanation, there might be cause for concern.

  • Sudden changes in clothes or make-up.
  • Bruises, scratches or other injuries.
  • Failing grades, skipping class or dropping out of school activities.
  • Avoiding friends.
  • Difficulty making decisions or always relying on the decisions of others.
  • Sudden changes in mood or personality; becoming anxious or depressed, acting out or being secretive.
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits, avoiding eye contact.
  • Constantly thinking or worrying about their dating partner.
  • Using alcohol or drugs.
  • Emotional outbursts and “crying fits.”

Contact PADV's Coordinator of Dating Violence Prevention to schedule a teen dating violence presentation for your school or youth group at [email protected].


Information compiled from "A Parent's Guide to Teen Dating Violence" by Liz Claiborne Inc.