Dating relationships, even healthy ones, are complex at any age.
Do I trust my dating partner?
Do I feel supported?
Do we respect each other?
These questions are especially important for teens in dating relationships to consider. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner each year, but studies show that only a third of teens who are being abused by their dating partner tell an adult.
Having a conversation about healthy relationships with your teenager might feel uncomfortable at first, but this is a conversation that matters. Here are some conversation starters recommended by Talk With Your Kids:
The last question on the list might be difficult to answer. Love Is Respect, a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and Break the Cycle, explains that it can be hard to tell when a behavior crosses the line from healthy to unhealthy or even abusive. They offer this list of warning signs to help:
After you have that first conversation with your teen about healthy relationships, keep talking about it. Make connections to pop culture headlines and related topics in the news. Here are some other ways to keep the conversation going:
This post is part of our 17 Days/17 Ways campaign to take a stand against intimate partner abuse.