Teen dating abuse may be physical, sexual, financial, verbal or emotional in nature.
While abuse often occurs as a pattern of controlling behavior, a single episode of abuse is cause for concern.
It can be scary and frustrating to know, or even think, that your child is in an abusive relationship.
But as a parent, your support and guidance are especially important in helping your child understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships.
When they do seek help, they most commonly seek help from their friends.
Very few teens seek formal help from an adult service provider.
When you are ready to engage your child, approach the conversation from a place of concern and empathy.
It occurs in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships and can include any combination of verbal, emotional, physical, sexual abuse, and even financial abuse.
The RICADV's network of member agencies provide comprehensive services to victims, including emergency shelter, support groups, counseling, and assistance with the legal system.
For more information about these organizations and services, call the statewide Helpline at 800-494-8100 or click here.
It often starts with teasing or name-calling, and can escalate over time to physical assault and rape. Part of what makes dating violence so painful and hard to understand is that there is love mixed with the abuse.