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Dating violence includes both direct acts of violence and abuse, as well as indirect violence and abuse such threatening to harm the victim or threatening to harm someone or something they care about (siblings, pets, possessions, etc.) Both direct and indirect violence and abuse serve to intimidate and control the victim.Examples of physical abuse include pushing, shoving, slapping, kicking, knocking down, hitting and punching; or gestures that threaten to perform these behaviors (e.g. Sexual abuse and assault include any unwanted sexual contact or sexual coercion.Dating and relationship violence includes any type of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse that occurs between dating partners.Abusers seek to gain control over their victims by manipulating or dominating them.Emotional abuse may include yelling, screaming, name-calling, belittling or demeaning a person with words or gestures.Emotional abuse is particularly insidious because it not as overt as other forms of abuse.If parents suspect that their adolescent child is experiencing an abusive romantic relationship, they should talk to their child about their concerns in a manner that demonstrates love and concern while encouraging their child to talk about any troubling aspects of their relationship with their partner.
Often, it is quite difficult for parents to intervene in these complex situations but there are several steps that parents can take to limit their children's exposure to these dangers.Therefore, it is important for youth to recognize this type of behavior early in a relationship and to exit that relationship promptly.Abusive partners will usually try to isolate victims from their friends and family in order to avoid detection, and to gain greater power and control over their victims.As mentioned, victims of relationship abuse and dating violence are often reluctant to talk about their experiences because they may feel powerless, ashamed, or frightened and may deny there is any cause for concern, or may become angry and upset with their parents for raising the topic.When parents initiate a discussion with their teen about their concerns, they must communicate they understand there is nothing their son or daughter could do to prevent the abuse or assault.