Signs Your Teen May Be in an Abusive Relationship

Signs Your Teen May Be in an Abusive Relationship

teen-relationshipIt’s natural for kids to become a bit more secretive during their teen years. They’re maturing, testing boundaries, and learning how to be more independent as they head toward adulthood. Checking in with them regularly to learn about what’s going on in their lives, at school, or with friends is important. But what if you suspect that something unhealthy or even dangerous is happening to your teen? If you start to notice any of the following signs, your teen might be experiencing abuse:

  • Your child’s partner is extremely jealous or possessive to the point where your child stops spending time with other friends and family. When asked how they feel about this, your child might say something like: She thinks my friends don’t like her, so she doesn’t like spending time around them. Or, She thinks they’re a bad influence on me, and she’s just trying to help.
  • You notice unexplained marks or bruises.
  • You notice that your son or daughter is depressed or anxious.
  • Your child stops participating in extracurricular activities or other interests.
  • Your child begins to dress differently; for example, wearing loose clothing because their partner doesn’t like for them to show off their body or attract the attention of someone else.
  • Your child worries if they can’t text/call their partner back right away because their partner might get upset.
  • Your child expresses fear about how their partner will react in a given situation.

Staying tuned in to your teen takes patience, love, and understanding – plus a little bit of effort. If you are concerned about any of your teen’s relationships, reach out and get them talking as soon as possible. There are several ways you can help, including passing along some useful resources.

This month is teenDVmonth, and our advocates are always here if you or your teen have questions. Give us a call at 1-800-799-7233 or chat online from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. CST.

Comment section

6 replies
  1. I don’t have any kids but I can only imagine how hard it can be to know that your daughter or son is being abused. I know this girl who was being abused by her boyfriend but she didn’t think of it as abuse. Many things happened after that, she ran away from home and her mom was abusing her too. She thought he was her only way out, so I started messaging her on Facebook and trying to help her understand is not ok for anyone to abuse you in any way (mentally, emotionally, or physically). She soon broke up with her boyfriend, I was so grateful to know I was able to open her eyes to the reality. Although is hard at time to leave someone who you want to be with, its always better to know you’ll be safe. No one has the right to abuse any human being and if that person loves you, they wouldn’t hurt you. I encourage friends, family members, especially parents to always pay attention to teens (even adults) who may need attention and education. If someone says no is no! Lets all be educated on bystander invention and consent.

  2. Joanna,

    I am so glad to hear you were able to be a support for someone experiencing abuse. You are right; no one has the right to abuse any human being. It’s never ok. Education and non-judgmental support are very important tools to support a friend or family member in an abusive relationship. Our website also has a very useful link for friends and family that highlights ways that one can help. Feel free to read it and spread the word. The link is (https://www.thehotline.org/help/help-for-friends-and-family/). Thank you again for your awesome support for your friend.

    Hotline Advocate MK

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