Your Teen May Be the Victim of Dating Violence

Teen dating violence is a growing problem a local school district is working to combat by getting parents involved.

The Canyon Independent School District says parents need to know to help prevent their child from becoming a victim.

Nearly 90% of local teenagers admit to being a victim or know a victim of dating violence, according to Family Support Services of Amarillo.

School Counselor Robin Terry says, "Parents have got to get into the world of their teenager. They have to be aware of what's going on. It's not just where they are but how are they acting at home, are they acting different, who are they running with."

And counselors tell me relationship abuse usually starts at school with a subtle push, verbal put down, or a nasty text message.

Intervention Specialist Randy Coetzee says, "We've witnessed and had reports of those types of behaviors. If you think about it, kids are at school eight hours a day sometimes longer. In the hallways in the lunchroom even in the parking lots they have great opportunities to interact without supervision. "

Terry says dating violence can also escalate quickly. "They get in an argument they kind of yell at each other but them it can escalate. So I think it can ago from 0 to 5 real quick and 5 to 10 real quick."

While each student will show different signs and symptoms there are some red flags. Constant contact with a significant other, whether its text messaging, calling, or unannounced visits.

Controlling how a person acts, what they wear, and where they go. And threatening to harm themselves or the other person.

If you notice these signs you are urged to talk with your child immediately and if needed, seek assistance from these organizations.



Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Family Violence Centers and Organizations

Family Support Services of Amarillo, Inc.

(806) 342-2500

(800) 749-9026


Tralee Crisis Center for Women, Inc.

(806) 669-1131

(806) 669-1788


Hutchinson County Crisis Center, Inc.

(806) 677-1701

(806) 273-2313

Texas School Safety Center


You may need to raise a red flag if you see or suspect that one person in a relationship...

  • Has gotten the other to the point where they're "not quite themselves" anymore
  • Makes the other person constantly question their actions or personality
  • Calls or text messages the other person excessively
  • Monitors the other person by screening their call logs, phone bills or e-mails
  • Is always showing up unannounced at the person's home, work or hangouts
  • Tells the other what to do, what to wear or how to act
  • Embarrasses the other in public or private through insults or degrading comments
  • Acts jealous a lot and frequently accuses the other person of things (cheating, flirting, etc.)
  • Keeps the other person from doing the things they enjoy in life
  • Doesn't ever want the other person to spend any free time with family and friends
  • Controls how the other spends money
  • Uses money as a tool to keep the other person from doing things - or to make them do things
  • Shows or hints at an explosive temper
  • Physically harms the other person, or threatens to
  • Forces the other person to do something sexual, even if it's something the couple has done before
  • Threatens to harm themselves if the other person leaves the relationship