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Stop Dating Abuse Before It Starts

By Deden, Sandra

Seeing your daughter off on a date can give you the jitters. Although many dates will turn out fine, you still want your daughter to be prepared. As a parent you can help your teenager make good decisions about dating. Teach your teenager that they should feel safe at all times in a relationship and there is no room for verbal or physical abuse.

Date violence can happen to anyone. Abuse can be with words, with sex, or by hitting and kicking. Teens rarely seek help. So let your teen know about teen date violence. And if they are dealing with dating violence, understand that they may be hesitant to talk about it. Let them know you are there to help, not judge. Knowing what to look for can help. Parents should watch for these warning signs:

  • Bruises or wounds for no known reason

  • Skipping school

  • Bad grades

  • Changes in mood or personality

  • Use of drugs or alcohol

  • Sudden loss of interest in friends or activities

  • Refusing to let you meet a date

You should teach teen girls to know what abuse is. Teach boys too. Some may feel it is OK to control girls through violence.

Avoiding an abusive relationship is often a lot easier than getting out of one. That makes talking about it the key. Be sure to talk with your teen before abuse is an issue.

Should you need help, contact the National Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474 or 1-866-331-8453 TTY. You can also reach their website at



Medical Reviewer: [Fiveash, Laura DrPH, MPH, RD, Yardley, Janet O., M.D.] Last Annual Review Date: 2011-10-08T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright: Copyright Health Ink & Vitality Communications

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