Parents and Teen Dating Violence

Parents and Teen Dating Violence2017-05-18T17:35:50+00:00

Parents GuideAs parents, we talked to Maggie about relationships, and being safe on campus and on dates. We talked about knowing the environment she was in and using caution in the area she lived. We got to know those she dated. Martha in particular talked to her about her relationships and how to deal with the problems she encountered in them. We talked between us, as parents, how we thought she was handling herself well in her first relationships away from home.

We found out that there were many things we did not know, and warning signs were missed in her relationship. This warning signs handout, compiled by Gail Griffin was passed out at a workshop/discussion at Kalamazoo College, the week after Maggie died.

When Maggie’s friends and family at the event read this list and heard the discussion of them, all of us were struck by the warning signs we recognized from Maggie’s relationship. We have since become aware of other warning signs lists which are very good resources for today’s parents observing their teens relationships.

In the past few years, as we have talked to students in local high schools, we have tried to reach out to parents who want to initiate conversations with their teens about healthy and not-healthy relationships. It can be a tough conversation to initiate and maintain with your teen. But it is also a tough conversation for us and others to convince both parents and schools about the importance of talking to their teens about the seriousness and prevalence of teen dating issues.   There tends to exist a protective denial of the seriousness of teen dating abuse in our own neighborhoods and lives.

Eighty-one percent of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue.
Though 82% of parents feel confident that they could recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse, a majority of parents (58%) could not correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse.

Information for Parents about Teen Dating Violence

Start a Conversation w/ your Teen about Healthy Relationships

These guides also define dating abuse, cite warning signs for parents, and discuss its effects on teens.

What Parents Need to Know

Massachusetts teens from Lincoln Sudbury High School's Mentors in Violence Prevention, Boston's Start Strong program and Shawsheen Regional Technical High School talk about healthy relationships, how to breakup safely, and the subtle warning signs for parents.

Lauren Astley’s story in Wayland, MA : Full Episode on Break-up violence.
Sad to watch - it tells the whole story of relationship violence unfolding and its aftermath

Lauren’s Foundation website: