One in 10 high school girls reports being abused by a boyfriend, according to the Department of Justice. Experts say behavior that seems perfectly harmless can actually be a precursor to violence in teen relationships. Learn ways to spot teen violence before it starts.
The National Violence Prevention Resource Center outlines warning signs for parents who have seen sudden changes without explanation in their teenagers' moods. It asks parents: "Have you noticed that the teen is afraid of his/her boyfriend or girlfriend? Has the individual casually mentioned the boyfriend or girlfriend's temper or violent behavior but then laughed it off as a joke? Have you seen the boyfriend or girlfriend be abusive toward other people or things?" Click here for the full list.
For teens, it can be difficult to realize that their relationships are abusive. Seeitandstopit.org is a resource for teens to recognize abusive behavior. On the site, teens learn how to identify abuse, stop it and go one step further by organizing ways to spread the message of the threat of teen dating violence to the community.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a video for parents and teens, explaining ways to talk about dating violence and how to develop healthy relationships. Click here to watch the short video.
10 Tips for Talking to Kids About Relationships The Katie Brown Educational Program gives 10 tips to parents to read before they confront their kids. Simple things like telling the truth and teaching assertiveness, not aggressiveness, are important. On the site, they also have a quiz to test teens' understanding of abusive behavior.
A number of states and communities across the country are working to make adolescents aware of dangerous dating behavior. In Rhode Island, a law called the Lindsay Ann Burke Act requires that all public middle and high schools in Rhode Island teach students about dating violence in their health classes. Through the Lindsay Ann Burke Memorial Fund, teachers can find curriculum materials, activities and lesson plans to bring the message to the classroom.