Red Flags

Parents

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Have you noticed a change in your teens demeanor?

  • Agitated, anxious, crying often, hysterical
  • Seem depressed or sad
  • Avoids eye contact

Does the person they’re dating exhibit signs of jealousy or possessiveness?

  • Wants to be with your teen a lot
  • Doesn’t like it when your teen spends time with a anyone else
  • Wants to know where they are, who they are with, what they are doing, when they will be done, etc

Has your teen stopped participating in extracurricular activities?

  • Stopped doing what they enjoy

Are their friends no longer coming around?

Do they spend less and less time with family?

Does their partner text them often?

Have they changed their appearance?

  • Have you noticed any unexplained bruising/injury to your teen or personal property missing or damaged?
  • Did their dating partner give them a cell phone?
  • Has your teens grades in school dropped?

School Administration

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One student is inappropriately clingy with the other

  • One has the other firmly in their grasp as often as possible

Change in demeanor since hanging out with or dating a certain person, such as:

  • Frequently sad or down
  • Quiet
  • Lack of eye contact

A student seems to be at the beck and call of the other student

Couple argues loudly

Watch for intimidating behavior

  • Punching wall or locker
  • In the face of the other
  • Yelling at the other

Doesn’t hang out with their usual friends

Bruising on arms or wrists

Other types of injuries

  • Scratches
  • Slap marks

Wearing long sleeves or pants in hot weather

Wearing sunglasses during class

Hair is used to cover parts of face

Decline in a students grades since hanging out with or dating a certain student

Attendance issues since a certain couple started dating or hanging out with each other

Schedule change requested

Friends expressing concern

Verify that students family contact information in file is current

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How to Help

First and foremost if you are not already, become a Trusted Adult.
As a Trusted Adult: Trust your instincts!

Get in the here and now with the teen and help them understand what’s next!
Get in the habit of asking them “What’s Next?” when they have made a decision. This may help them train their brain, to ask themselves, “What’s Next?”

Talk with victim and abuser separately. If you speak with them together chances are the victim will feel intimidated by the abusers presence and/or feel a loyalty towards them and defend them.

Work with the teen towards a solution.

Parents if your teen has been dating a particular individual for a month or so, this is a big deal and they are developing feelings for that person. That being said it is beneficial to take a proactive approach.

  • Ask your child how things are going in the relationshipConsider meeting up with the family of the person they are dating in a neutral location.
    For instance suggest a barbeque at a local park. This will give you the opportunity to get a feel for the dynamic of the other family. What kind of interaction takes place between the parents or the parents and their teens or children.

    • Is there controlling behavior between the parents
    • Are they respectful towards each other – watch body language.

If the teen you are assisting is a victim….

  • Listen & Hear them – No Judging
  • Watch your body language
  • Avoid getting angry
    • The victim may feel you are angry with them
    • The victim may fear your reaction
  • Think carefully about what you are going to say before you say it
  • Empathize with the victim regarding the abusive behavior
  • Validate the victims feelings towards the abuser
    • Like it or not they care about the person that is abusing them
  • Do not talk bad about the abuser
    • They will more than likely defend the abuser
    • The victim may shut down and stop talking to you
  • Educate about developing Healthy Relationships
  • Approach the option of creating a safety plan and safely ending the relationship.

If you have noticed abusive tendencies in a teen….

  • Point out inappropriate behavior
  • Educate about developing a Healthy Relationship
  • Explain the consequences for continuing to abuse.
    • They need to Accept Accountability
    • Find out why they are Angry enough to hurt someone. Anger is a secondary emotion. Everyone gets angry, yet it is how we vent that anger that makes the difference between being abusive or not
    • Understand consequences
    • Explain how to handle situations differently
    • They have the power to Change your behavior
  • To abuse is a choice! A very bad choice!

If the teen you are assisting is a concerned bystander…..

Let them know they have the Power to help indirectly by:

  • Creating a distraction
  • Then find someone in authority to interfere and/or report the abuse
    • School Resource Officer
    • Teacher/Administrator.

Safety Plan

The most dangerous time for a victim in an abusive relationship is when they are ending that relationship
Takes a victim an average of 7-9 times to leave an abusive relationship
It takes an average of 2 years for an abuser to leave a victim alone
81% of adults don’t realize Teen Dating Violence is an issue

According to the American Psychological Association 2013 Adolescent Dating Violence study
41% of Females and 37% Males report being a victim of dating violence.
35% of Females and 29% Males report being a perpetrator
29% of Females and 24% Males report being both a victim and perpetrator

Considerations for the Safety Plan

  • Change your phone number
    • Utilize *67 to block Caller ID from your next outgoing call for help
  • Put the word out
    • Let everyone know, family, friends, neighbors that the abuser is no longer welcome
  • Social media presence
    • Limiting or reducing social media posting
    • Blocking person or persons harassing victim
    • Turn off location services
    • Victim should not post location or plans
    • Use social media to the victims advantage by posting that they are no longer with the abuser and do not want them to contact them in any way
  • Require friends to pick sides
    • If they are friends with the abuser then the victim should no longer have anything to do with the person
  • Have a buddy system – do not go anywhere alone
  • Exercise caution when answering the door at home
  • Make sure that contact information in school and employer files is current
  • Make safe transportation arrangements
  • Contact the police and file a report if there is harassing behavior from the abuser or their friends.
  • Know your Rights to protection
  • Work with an advocate to get order of protection
  • Depending on the escalation level of the abuser since you cannot be with teen 24/7 consider sending them to stay with family or friends out of state.

Ideas of what schools can do to bring this education and awareness…

  • February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month – Create a Campaign to highlight this in their school
  • Math teacher takes some time to educate about the statistics regarding teen dating violence
  • The history teacher educates on the history of TDV and how we are evolving out of it
  • The English or Literature teacher that could assign a book to be read and a report or assign an essay to be written about what they learned from www.kaitysway.org about teen dating violence and the importance of healthy relationships.
  • The drama class or club could do a play on TDV
  • A poster or media contest about TDV
  • Create a dating contract
  • Is there a student from the student body that is passionate about this education that could take a few minutes to explain why they believe this information is valuable to them? Maybe the Student Council President or Vice President?

Contact Us

Kaity's Way
P.O. Box 83494
Phoenix, AZ 85071
(602) 740-2734

We would LOVE to hear from you!

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