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Parent Guide Date Violence

Is your daughter a victim of dating violence? If you suspect your daughter is in a violent relationship, see how many of the questions posed below, you can answer "yes" to:

  • Is she frightened of her boyfriend's temper?
  • Is she afraid to disagree with him?
  • Does she apologize to others for her boyfriend's behavior when she is treated badly?
  • Does she not see friends or family because of jealousy?
  • Is she forced to justify everything she does, every place she goes and every person she sees to avoid his temper?
  • Has she 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 daughter may be involved in a violent relationship:

  • Physical Scars -- Does she have injuries, bruises or broken bones? Do her reasons for these injuries make sense?
  • Neglected appearance -- Has she begun to dress in unattractive clothes? Has she gained or lost a lot of weight?
  • Fear -- Is she fearful or nervous a lot of the time? Is she terrified of making mistakes or saying the wrong things around her boyfriend?
  • Shame -- Does she question herself, her decisions, her abilities or her appearance?
  • Isolation -- Has she lost friendships and relationships with her family?
  • Depression -- Is she unusually disinterested in things, listless or tired all of the time?

What do you do if you suspect your daughter is being abused?

  • Help her recognize the abuse. Help her to see that what is happening is not normal and that his violent behavior will probably get worse. Stress that love shouldn't hurt.
  • Be encouraging. Ask your daughter to spend some more of her time with friends and family, to have enjoyment apart from the relationship.
  • Be non-judgmental. Try to understand that while your daughter may be frightened by the violence, she wants the love and/or security of a relationship. Try not to tell her that she is wrong, but instead help her to recognize the violence, and let her know that you are worried about her safety.
  • Help your daughter devise a safety plan. If your daughter wants to continue in the relationship or if she decides to leave it, help her devise a safety plan. For example, arrange for a safe place to stay, ask her to enlist the help of friends to accompany her 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 her know that regardless of her decision, you will always be there to love and support her.
  • Help her find someone to talk to. If your daughter is unable to talk with you about the relationship, ask her if she 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 303-430-2400, ext. 4210, for referral information.

Women in crisis: 303-420-6752
Alternatives to Family Violence
     Counseling and groups: 303-657-0044
     Crisis Hotline: 303-289-4441
Family Tree / Karlis Center: 303-462-1060
     Spanish information and referral: 303-467-3794, ext. 9012
Project Safeguard
     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


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