February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month

Did you have any idea that February was National Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention month? I didn’t. I also never thought this issue would be one that I’d ever have to deal with. But life is funny that way. Our biggest trials are often those we never saw coming.

Those of us who have never taken a beating at the hands of a loved one and who don’t have any violent tendencies of our own, are far less likely to see the warning signs. We have no “referential intel,” as I like to say, or experiential knowledge. This can leave us with a pretty big blind spot.

If you find yourself in a situation where your gut tells you something but you have no first-hand knowledge or evidence, please remember: If you are an otherwise rational person, and you suspect something is amiss, it probably is. We’ve all heard a friend or family member say, “I knew he was cheating, but he convinced me I was just being paranoid,” right after they find out their partner actually was guilty of what they had known all along.

I submit that every mother knows, somewhere inside, when their teenage daughter (or son) is the victim of physical violence, even if the child expertly utilizes smoke and mirrors. If this sounds like you, take action. Pin them down. Ask a million questions. Never let them out of your sight. Become a pain in the ass if you have to. Just do something, with love, and don’t stop.

Believe me when I say, If you think your teenager is being physically abused, or is on the verge of being physically abused, you are probably right.

If you still don’t trust your gut, please read the following articles to review the warning signs. However, it bears repeating, Do not ignore your gut! It only takes one act of violence to snuff out a life. When it comes to the safety of your child, it is far better to act hastily and be proven wrong, than to err on the side of caution and find out you were right.

A couple stories to scare you:

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