What can you do if your teen
experiences dating violence?
The most important thing you can do is LISTEN and not judge or blame. Let your teen tell you about the situation. Ask them how they feel about it and what they would like to do. Let your teen know you love and respect them and are there to help them find solutions. If the abuse requires medical attention, take your teen the emergency room or a trusted family physician and ask them to discuss abuse with your teen as well. If your teen has been raped or sexually assaulted, it is important to seek medical help. Local law enforcement can discuss options for prosecution of the attacker as well; let your teen make the decision. It is important that she or he feel supported and in control. Counseling by professionals trained in domestic violence or rape crisis is particularly helpful.
For more information see Dating Violence and Your Teen.
Diane G. Kuschel, Former Extension Associate, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Friday, September 29, 2006