Prom season: Be aware of teens' possible violent relationships
It is Prom season, and for many teens it means picking out the perfect dress or asking your crush to the dance.
The special night can create a lifetime of memories, but some experiences unfortunately can also carry a lifetime of consequences.
The annual dance season can be a reminder that some teens are in violent relationships.
"Teen dating violence is all about power and control," explained Lorna Clause with Turning Point of Lehigh Valley. "It's all about one person having power and control over the other one."
Pennsylvania is among the top five states for the number of residents calling the national teen dating abuse hotline.
Statistics show one in three teens is a victim, suffering physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse from the person they're dating.
"Those constant text messages and voice mails, where are you, who are you with, what are you doing," shared Clause. "We're never disconnected."
Experts say parents play a vital role in making sure their teen doesn't become a statistic or a victim of a violent relationship.
"If they live in a household where Mom and Dad are yelling and screaming and fighting, and fists are being thrown, and the police are being called, that's their norm for a relationship," said Clause.
She says parents can also be the ones to take notice of a problem. And it all starts with a dialogue.
"Don't be afraid to ask your teens about what's happening with their relationship," added Clause. "Getting that conversation going so you can educate your child about the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship."
Turning Point of Lehigh Valley has a free and confidential helpline if you have concerns or questions about a relationship. That number is 610-437-3369.
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