How do I know if one of my students is experiencing violence in a relationship? The warning signs of dating violence will not always be dramatic, but if you know what to look for you might be able to identify an abusive relationship before it becomes dangerous. You can also help your students identify warning signs of dating violence in their own relationships. Look for these red flags:

• Problems with school attendance, particularly if this is a new problem

• Lack of interest in former extracurricular activities

• Sudden request for a change in schedule

• Unexplained changes in behavior, grades, or quality of schoolwork

• Noticeable change in weight, demeanor, or physical appearance

• Isolation from former friends

• Little social contact with anyone but the dating partner

• Unexplained bruises or injuries

• Making excuses or apologizing for the dating partner’s inappropriate behavior

• New disciplinary problems at school, such as bullying other students or acting out

• Name-calling or belittling from a dating partner

Help your students recognize these signs:

  • Checking your cell phone or email without permission
  • Constant put-downs
  • Extreme jealousy or insecurity
  • Explosive temper
  • Making false accusations
  • Mood swings
  • Physically hurting you in any way
  • Possessiveness
  • Telling their partner what to do