Parent Guide Date Violence
Is your child a victim of dating violence? If you suspect your child is in a violent relationship, see how many of the questions posed below, you can answer "yes" to:
- Is your child frightened of their boyfriend/girlfriends temper?
- Is child afraid to disagree with him/her?
- Does your child apologize to others for their boyfriend/girlfriend's behavior when they are treated badly?
- Has your child stopped spending time with friends or family because of jealousy?
- Is your child forced to justify everything they do, every place they go and every person they see to avoid their temper?
- Has your child become secretive, ashamed or hostile with you because of this relationship?
If you find that you answered "yes" to most of these questions, your daughter may be in a violent relationship.
Other signs that your child may be involved in a violent relationship:
- Physical Scars -- Does your child have injuries, bruises or broken bones? Does your child's reasons for these injuries make sense?
- Is your child wearing certain types of clothing in an effort to cover injuries?
- Neglected appearance -- Has your child begun to dress in unattractive clothes? Has he/she gained or lost a lot of weight?
- Fear -- Is your child fearful or nervous a lot of the time? Is he/she terrified of making mistakes or saying the wrong things around her boyfriend/girlfriend?
- Shame -- Does your child question himself/herself, their decisions, their abilities or their appearance?
- Isolation -- Has your child lost friendships and relationships with the family?
- Depression -- Is your child unusually disinterested in things, listless or tired all of the time?
- Has your child dropped out of school clubs or functions?
What do you do if you suspect your child is being abused?
Parent/Child Conversations. Conversations about healthy relationships can help kids protect themselves. Even though teens may respond to peer influence, they are still listening to their parents.
Help your child recognize the abuse. Help your child to see that what is happening is not normal and that violent behavior will probably get worse. Stress that love shouldn't hurt.
Be encouraging. Ask your child to spend some more of their time with friends and family, to have enjoyment apart from the relationship.
Be non-judgmental. Try to understand that while your child may be frightened by the violence, they wants the love and/or security of a relationship. Try not to tell them that they are wrong, but instead help them to recognize the violence, and let them know that you are worried about their safety.
Help your child devise a safety plan. If your child wants to continue in the relationship or if they decide to leave it, help them devise a safety plan. For example, arrange for a safe place to stay, ask them to enlist the help of friends to accompany them to and from school. If possible, make teachers and counselors aware of the problem.
Be there. Listen. Be supportive as possible despite your own feelings of frustration. Let your child know that regardless of their decision, you will always be there to love and support them.
- Help your child find someone to talk to. If your child is unable to talk with you about the relationship, ask them if they would be more comfortable speaking with another adult such as a relative, teacher, a friend's parent, an older sibling, or a counselor. If necessary, you can call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-333-7233 for information and support or contact Victim Services at 303-658-4210, for referral information.
Women in crisis: 303-420-6752
Family Tree / Karlis Center: 303-462-1060
Spanish information and referral: 303-467-3794, ext. 9012
Denver County: 303-863-7233
Adams County: 303-637-7761
Restraining order information: 303-863-7416
Colorado Coalition against Domestic Violence: 303-831-9632
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
TTY for the Deaf: 1-800-787-3224
National Teem Dating Abuse Hotline 866-331-9474 or 866-331-8453