Preventing Youth Dating Violence

What Caregivers Need to Know

Teach Your Child to Support Their Peers

  • Even though your child may not be involved in dating violence, or even a romantic relationship at all, teens who experience dating violence seek help from their friends more than from adults.
  • If your child has friends who experience and/or use dating violence, they may begin to think that such behaviour is okay. Talk with your child about why dating violence is not okay or healthy behaviour.
  • Encourage your child to provide support for friends who are experiencing an unhealthy relationship or dating violence. Ensure that they know how to keep themselves safe and that your child can come to you for help or advice.
  • Let your child know that helping their friends who are victimized by dating violence can be difficult. Your child needs to understand that they can’t force their friends to break-up with an abusive partner, and that seeking help on their behalf without their permission can make things worse. At the same time, let your child know that it is important for the victimized individual to get adult support and to involve help immediately if their friend is in danger.
  • Your child can help friends experiencing dating violence by being warm, non-judgmental, and suggesting that they seek help from adults.