Frequently Asked Questions
What if my teen doesn't want to talk to me?
What if my teen doesn't talk to me about their dating partners?

Because the teen years are a time of asserting independence, often teens won't discuss things with their parents. But you can still encourage respectful discussion and try to keep communication lines open. Let your teen know that you will respect their privacy, and you respect them. Ask them what things they think are abusive; then you can add to the list. Tell them if they do ever experience abuse in their relationships, they can talk to you about it. Let them know that you will not judge them or blame them about the experience no matter what and stick to that promise.

Also suggest others adults they could talk to about experiencing violence, such as a favorite teacher, a school counselor, a mentor, a spiritual leader/clergy, another family member they trust and respect like a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or even a trusted family friend. Make sure they have their phone numbers and know how to contact them. Provide them with hotline numbers they can call without giving their name if they do experience abuse, and encourage them to share the numbers with their friends.

Why Teens Don’t Tell Parents or Friends About the Violence
They are:
• afraid their parents will make them break up.
• embarrassed and ashamed.
• afraid of getting hurt.
• convinced that it is their fault or that their parents will blame them or will be disappointed.
• confused -- they may think this is what a relationship is all about.
• afraid of losing privileges like being able to stay out late or use the car.
• have little or no experience with healthy dating relationships.
• believe being involved with someone is the most important thing in their life.
• confuse jealousy with love.
• do not realize they are being abused.
• do not think friends and others would believe this is happening.
• have lost touch with friends.
• know that the abuser acts nice -- sometimes.

Do not use this website if you suspect your computer is being monitored. Find a safe way to use the internet by accessing a safe computer. Even if you take cautionary steps such as using an email that your abuser cannot access or deleting stored information from your web browser, your abuser may be able to see what web sites you have been visiting and emails you have been sending.
Texas Advocacy Project  •  512-476-5377 tel  •  512-476-5773 fax
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