A Parent's Guide to Teen Dating Violence
Talking to Teens Who Are Abused
Talking to a friend dealing with relationship violence can make an enormous difference to her. She is probably feeling very isolated and alone.
When talking to this friend, there are several key things your teen should keep in mind: Listen to what she has to say, and don't be judgmental. Let her know you are there for her whenever she needs to talk and that you are worried about her. Let her know that you won't tell anyone she doesn't want you to about her situation—and then keep your word (unless you fear for her physical safety). Be specific about why you are concerned. Let her know about behavior you have seen and how it made you feel. Find someone knowledgeable about abuse that she can talk to, and volunteer to go with her.
Talking to Teens Who Abuse
Most guys who hurt their girlfriends are in denial about their actions and don't consider themselves "abusers." But reaching out and talking to a friend who is being violent in his relationship is truly an act of friendship, though it may seem like the hardest thing to do. When talking to a friend who is being abusive, here are some tips your teen can keep in mind:
Be specific about what you saw and let your friend know you won't stand by and let the behavior continue. Make sure he realizes that his actions have consequences and he could get into serious trouble—from getting expelled from school to going to jail. Urge him to get help from a counselor, coach or any trusted adult, and offer to go with him if he wants support. Let him know that you care about him and that you know he has it in him to change.
Question nine: Dating and the media