Involved and supportive parents and caregivers can have strong relationships with their children and the most lasting impact on their values and behaviors. Helping to influence positive changes in the perspective of parents and caregivers can encourage them have open conversations with their children – that is prevention.
Facts & Figures
Teens and young adults are faced with many challenges while learning how to navigate complex relationships. Being aware of these issues can help parents know what to look for to prevent long-term problems.
1 in 3 adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
Relationship abuse is not only physical! Among adolescents, abuse can be physical, verbal, sexual, financial, or digital. Stalking also constitutes abuse. Think your teen might be a victim or perpetrator of abuse?
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.
Dating violence can be hard to identify, especially if your child does not want you to know.
Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.
If you are concerned your child is engaging in risky behaviors as a result of teen dating violence, you can contact hotlines or resources for more information on substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behaviors, and domestic violence.
50% of youth who have been victims of both dating violence and rape attempt suicide, compared to 12.5% of non-abused girls and 5.4% of non-abused boys.
Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.
It is common for victims of abuse at any age to remain silent about their abuse. Sometimes, sharing your concerns along with some outreach resources, is a good way to let them know you understand and are here to support them.
Being physically or sexually abused makes teen girls 6 times more likely to become pregnant and twice as likely to get a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
How can we engage parents and caregivers in prevention?
It can be challenging to engage parents and caregivers in prevention, because parenting is a full-time job. In order for prevention strategies to be effective, they must be designed to work with a variety of lifestyles. Some parents and caregivers are able to commit to longer classes or biweekly discussion groups. For others, receiving reminders and talking points via email or text about talking with their kids about healthy relationships is more convenient.
Fortunately, both options are available for local domestic violence programs and parents. PCADV developed Raising Respect, an app for parents and caregivers that provides information on a variety of topics, and offers tips for starting conversations about healthy relationships with their kids.
The following evidence-informed and evidence-based programs are designed to strengthen parenting skills:
A child sexual abuse prevention program.
This program teaches positive parenting skills to parents and caregivers of children from birth to age 10.
A free online resource designed to help parents of 2–4-year-olds address common challenges.