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Teen dating violence


Dr. Gayani DeSilva MD


Sex and Romance

Gayani DeSilva is a Child Adolescent Psychiatrist with 20 years experience. She is the author of A Psychiatrists Guide: Helping Parents Reach Their Depressed Tween, and A Psychiatrists Guide: Stop Teen Addiction Before It Starts.

One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.


Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.


Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average


Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.


Learn the warning signs: Though 82% of parents feel confident that they could recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse, a majority of parents (58%) could not correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse.


Dating violence can be prevented and avoided. Parents can intervene successfully. Before finding warning signs, develop a relationship with your teen that includes talking abut relationships, conflict resolution strategies,, empathizing and validating your child's feelings, and bolstering their self esteem. Model good relationships for them--do not stay in an abusive or demeaning relationship. Role model conflict resolution with your spouse/partner.

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