I remember a story my husband told me.
His cousin was married, to an abusive man. One day he was at his grandfather’s house, and she came running down the street. Her husband was hot in pursuit. When her father saw her, he calmly got up, went into the house, and as she was running into the house, he was coming out… with a shotgun. He raised the gun at her would be attacker, the man stopped in his tracks. He backed up and went back down the street to his home.
I wish I could say she left her husband that day, but she didn’t. Eventually she did. Fortunate for her, she’s one of the lucky ones that survives.
As a thirteen-year-old, some girls who were “dating” older boys told me “if a man loves you, he will beat you.” I didn’t go home and talk to my mother, dating wasn’t really talked about, especially at thirteen.
When we cut off communication on any subject, our teens are vulnerable to misinformation. The truth isn’t forthcoming from their peers. Is it possible to decrease the incidence of domestic violence significantly by simply exposing our teens to the “truth” before they are involved in abusive relationships?
Instead of telling them not to date, teach them who to date, be specific about when you want them to date, and what you expect from them Set up boundaries for them. Teach the early warning signs of abuse:
Date uses intimidation to get them to comply.
Date is overly concerned about their dress, and the way they look.
Threats of suicide, if they leave.
Threats against family members.
Discussion of prior abuse towards other individuals.
These are only a few of the indicators.
Get busy, you have lots to discuss with your teens.