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24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 208.343.7025 24-hour Rape Crisis Hotline: 208.345.7273 (RAPE)

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM). The focus on teens might be jarring for many people. But we know that 1 in 3 teens will experience some form of teen dating violence. This abuse can be physiological, physical or sexual.parent stat

Signs of abuse manifest in different ways depending on the individual. You know your teen best, however, there are some warning signs to look out for.

Warning signs for teens could include:

  • Spending less time with family and other friends.
  • Excessive messaging and contact with the new significant other.
  • Declining grades or skipping school.
  • They are worried about upsetting their significant other.
  • Unexplained injuries.
  • Apologizing for significant other’s behavior.

The signs of abuse can be difficult to spot, even for a parent or sibling. Teenagers have lots on their plate as it is, so signs of stress or mood swings are normal among many teenagers. However, there are ways to start having conversations about dating with teens in your life.

Talking about what makes different behaviors in a relationship healthy versus unhealthy, how to define and communicate boundaries in different relationships, and most importantly emphasizing an individual’s self-worth whether they choose to date or not. Ideally, this conversation would happen before the young person in your life starts dating.help child 2 facebook

Due to the prevalence of teen dating violence there are many national organizations that have lots of resources for parents and young people online such as the One Love Foundation (www.joinonelove.org), Futures Without Violence (www.futureswithoutviolence.org) and Loveisrespect (www.loveisrespect.org).

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