It’s never too early to talk to your child about healthy relationships and dating abuse. Researching the issue and starting a conversation (even if you don’t think your child is dating yet) are some of the most important steps you can take to help prevent dating abuse.

Find ways to introduce the subject by talking about their friends or peers, abuse they see at school, or examples from your own life or the media. Ask and encourage questions, identify options and resources, and encourage open discussion, making sure you maintain a judgement-free attitude toward whatever it is they say.

Avoid lecturing, admit when you don’t know something, and keep the conversation low key. If they’re not ready to talk or you aren’t ready to listen, let it be and try again another time.

Create a safety plan for your children.

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