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YOU Can Be an Advocate for the Youth in your Life

How to recognize and respond to teen dating abuse

Our youth program recently received Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) Region 10 prevention dollars to continue providing education in Central Indiana classrooms about healthy relationships and dating abuse. As part of our DCS prevention grant, we are training ALL DCS prevention grant recipients on how to recognize and respond to teen dating abuse. We want this to be a community-wide effort. We want our community to have the tools and education they need to help promote positive, healthy relationships. We cannot do this alone.

Even though you may not fall into the DCS prevention grant recipients category, we still want you to have the education you need to advocate and support the youth in your life. If your business, organization, club, or parent group would like to schedule a training on how to recognize and respond to teen dating abuse, please contact Lindsay at

In the meantime, here are some pointers on how to recognize early warning signs of teen dating abuse from

  • Your child’s partner is extremely jealous or possessive.
  • You notice unexplained marks or bruises.
  • Your child’s partner emails or texts excessively.
  • You notice that your child is depressed or anxious.
  • Your child stops participating in extracurricular activities or other interests.
  • Your child stops spending time with other friends and family.
  • Your child’s partner abuses other people or animals.
  • Your child begins to dress differently.

What if your child is not in an unhealthy relationship? Here are some pointers on how to talk to the young person in your life about relationships from

  • Are any of your friends dating? What are their relationships like? What would you want in a partner?
  • Have you witnessed unhealthy relationships or dating abuse at school? How does it make you feel? Were you scared?
  • Do you know what you would do if you witnessed or experienced abuse?
  • Has anyone you know posted anything bad about a friend online? What happened afterwards?
  • Would it be weird if someone you were dating texted you all day to ask you what you’re doing?

No matter what, the young people in our lives NEED us. Thank you for being an advocate for our young people. If you need additional tips, do not hesitate to contact Lindsay at or visit