Teen dating violence threatens, humiliates, belittles, isolates, and strips them of their dignity.It chips away at their self-esteem, shames and makes them feel guilty, many times in secrecy and darkness – all of these things that would be hard for adults to feel and process.While the signs of physical abuse can be obvious, the signs of verbal, emotional, digital, and sexual abuse aren’t as easy to recognize.It might take months or years for the first signs to appear, and it may start so subtly that they don’t even see it coming.If you can’t start the conversation, you can’t break the silence.Tiffany Jones serves on the Genesis Alliance Board as the parent liaison to STAR (Students Tackle Abusive Relationships) Get the facts on teen dating violence.
But as a parent, your support and guidance are especially important in helping your child understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships.Teenagers have a mind of their own, but you can’t even begin to be the voice inside their head if you don’t start the conversation.And it is not a “one and done” as they say; it is a repeated conversation.For these reasons, repetitive conversations are key.So, what do you do if you think your daughter might already be in a difficult relationship? As I am sure you know, teenagers are sensitive, and they especially do not like to be seen has having made a wrong decision.Being a teenager today is complicated, but being the parent or guardian of a teenager? That job is definitely not for the faint of heart, but it’s the most important job we will ever have.As such, there are so many things that we try to educate our children about to protect them – drugs, alcohol and sex to name a few – but there is one topic of growing importance that many parents do not seem to have on their radar: teen dating violence. is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner. She would never put up with being treated like that.” In reality, teen dating violence crosses ALL socio-economic lines, and happens to families in our neighborhoods and in our schools.Scarily, teen dating violence is an issue that is closer than you may realize. • One in three teenagers experience physical violence in their dating relationships. So much so that only one-third of teens in an abusive relationship will ever tell anyone what has happened, and that person is rarely a parent.• 40 percent of teenage girls, ages 14-17, report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend. If the truth were actually known, the number of reported teen dating violence instances might be even higher.With statistics like ONE IN THREE girls, I will use everything in my “Mother Arsenal” to educate them on the warning signs, again and again.Due to my years of volunteer work in the area of domestic violence, my girls have grown up hearing me talk and try to educate them on the subject.