Signs Your Teenager is in an Abusive Relationship | O'Keeffe O'Brien Lyson Attorneys

Signs Your Teenager is in an Abusive Relationship

Research has shown that the long lasting effects of violent relationships in adolescence put teenagers at a higher risk of substance abuse, eating and mental disorders and further domestic violence down the road. According to Love is Respect, nearly 1.5 million high school students in the United States experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.


Here is a list of red flags that might indicate that your teen is in an abusive relationship:

  • Increased depression and anxiousness and refusing to communicate
  • Lack of interest in social and extra-curricular activities
  • Teen begins to dress or behave differently in request of partner
  • Unexplained injuries or bruises
  • Partner is overly protective and feels others don’t like him/her
  • Constant calling and texting when he/she is not with your teen

What to Do

Recognizing abuse is the first step, and doing something about it is the second. Violent relationships-especially physical ones- can escalate into potentially life threatening situations. It’s important to take the necessary steps to protect your teen from any further damage.

Restraining & Protection Orders

Victims of domestic violence have several options to protect themselves from further abuse. Two of those options are Restraining and Protection Orders. Though these orders don’t physically stop a perpetrator from reaching out to a victim, they do allow law enforcement to arrest the abuser if the order is broken.

These orders are designed to keep the abuser away from you and can last between 1-5 years and in extreme cases, a lifetime. These orders can be customized in several ways:

  • Restrain abuser from any form of contact
  • Abuser must stay at least 100 yards away from you
  • Abuser can be removed from a joint property (in the case that abuser and victim live together and have ownership claims)
  • Set specific child custody and visitation schedules
  • Reimbursement of costs that came directly from abuse
  • Require abuser to surrender any or all firearms in possession

The attorneys at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss are experienced in these cases in Fargo-Moorhead and surrounding communities and can help you seek legal protection from a violent relationship or person. If you or someone you know has or is involved in a domestic dispute, contact our office today at (701) 235-8002. For more information, visit our website.

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