Signs that your teen is in an abusive relationship

Teens need healthy relationships for their socio-emotional development. Those who are affected by abusive relationships may suffer from lasting effects including depression and anxiety, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and antisocial behaviors. Teens don’t always know how to recognize when they’re being abused or taken advantage of. If you’re concerned about your child, consider visiting the hospital to discuss your concerns with a physician. At MountainView Hospital, we’re always here to help, because we believe strong families build strong communities.

Signs of physical abuse
Kids get bumps and bruises now and then, and a physical injury doesn’t automatically mean that your teen is in an abusive relationship. Do keep an eye out for injuries that your teen can’t explain , or that your teen seems to have trouble explaining. A pattern of frequent physical injuries may be a red flag.

Additionally, watch out for signs that your teen may be trying to conceal injuries. If your teen wears oversized sunglasses indoors, he or she might be trying to hide a black eye. Wearing long-sleeved shirts during hot weather may be an attempt to conceal arm bruises.

Patterns in communication
Abusive relationships tend to have an element of control. If your teen is being abused, he or she may feel compelled to call or text the partner frequently. Their partner may demand information about where your teen is, who he or she is with and what he or she is doing.

Changes in social activities
Another aspect of a controlling relationship is social isolation. Your teen may no longer spend time with friends, or he or she might have fewer friends than before. Your child might decide to quit extracurricular activities and feel compelled to spend as much time as possible with the partner.

Changes in emotional state
Abusive relationships don’t usually begin that way. Your teen likely showed signs of experiencing an initial rush of happiness and excitement when the relationship began. Over time, he or she might frequently look sad, worried or anxious.

Adolescents who need emergency care for traumatic injuries should call 911 immediately. A compassionate doctor at MountainView Hospital is here for you or your loved one if you need help and don’t know where to turn to. Families in Las Vegas can reach a registered nurse at our hospital by calling (702) 962-5021.

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