QUINCY (WGEM) — February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Local counselors said it's important to know and recognize the warning signs that your child or friend may be a victim.
"It might be very passive as far as just being critical and a little bit of control, but that's just the beginning," said Misty Bliven, Cornerstone Foundation for Families Counselor. "It will go into a cycle that will lead to physical aggression and possibly even... it could lead to death."
Warning signs include isolation from family and friends. They may suffer from depression or loss of interest in things they normally enjoy along with low self-esteem. Being in constant communication with their partner is another sign. Also, having unexplained injuries and or bruises is a big red flag.
"If they are in an unhealthy relationship and you notice it and pay attention to that, you can get them out sooner than later," said Bliven. "And then your child doesn't have to be emotionally hurt, physically hurt, or worse."
If you or someone you know is a victim of teen dating violence you can call 1-800-799-SAFE or talk to a teacher, counselor, or therapist. As a parent or friend, you can ask for guidance on how best to help that person.