Knowing what to do for a child who is experiencing abuse can be difficult and overwhelming. There is help. You are not alone.
If you suspect abuse, you are the most important resource and adviser for your child. If you need support there are people and resources available to help. Remind your young teen that he or she deserves a violence free relationship and that abuse is NEVER appropriate and NEVER their fault.
If you think your son or daughter may be controlling, abusive, or violent with his or her partner, tell your child that abuse and violence are NOT acceptable and that violence will not solve problems. Let him or her know when you truly care for someone you don’t hurt them or try to control them. Abuse is a choice and there are resources and counselors that can help him or her understand the consequences, choose alternatives to violence, and stop the abuse.
If your young teen isn’t ready to openly communicate with you about his or her relationship, let him or her know there are confidential resources and trained individuals available to answer questions and help avoid unhealthy relationships. Pass on the information below, but let your teen know you are always available to talk.
There are legal options. You can help your child get a restraining or protective order.
A restraining order can help end an abusive relationship safely. Sometimes called a protective order, a restraining order is a court order that makes it illegal for an abusive partner to harm you, come near you or contact you.
Although the details vary by state, there are two basic requirements for getting a restraining order:
- Showing a certain relationship between you and the abuser
- Showing abuse in your relationship
By law, restraining orders are free in all 50 states.
A restraining order can’t guarantee your safety or change your abuser, but it can help keep you safe during a difficult time. In fact, after you get a restraining order, your abusive partner could face criminal penalties for violating it.
GET HELP: If at any time you feel that you or your teen are in immediate danger, call 911.
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline offers one-on-one service from trained peer advocates and is specifically designed for teens and young adults. It operates 24 hours a day and can be accessed by phone or the internet. Assistance via online chat services is available four p.m. to midnight CST, 7 days a week. The helpline also offers translation services.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
800-799-SAFE / 800‐787‐3224 TTY
National Domestic Violence Hotline provides crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The hotline operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and offers services in more than 170 languages.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) offers assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Callers are automatically directed to on‐duty volunteers to answer questions, provide support and refer to local resources. RAINN also operates the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, providing live and secure help to victims.