HILLSBORO, Ore.- Domestic violence is a serious problem, one our office is determined to address. Whether it be in the form of verbal or emotional abuse, or physical violence, our prosecutors work tirelessly to protect victims from their attackers.

As we learn more about this serious issue, we’ve discovered domestic abuse can start at a much younger age than previously thought. According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, more than 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner. What’s more, they say 75% of parents have never even talked to their children about domestic abuse.

Those are just some of the reasons we are taking part in national Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. We know how important it is to break the cycle of violence at an early age, so that these abusers won’t perpetuate the pattern throughout their lives. To that end, we’ve developed a web page to list resources available to those suffering from domestic violence.

The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and their subsidiary, VAWnet, have also worked to address the problem. They have developed a special online collection, Preventing and Responding to Teen Dating Violence, with information for parents, teachers and others to learn from.

The Family Justice Center of Washington County is another great resource. Whether you just need someone to talk to, or you want to file for a restraining order, the experts here can help you. If you are worried about coming forward, don’t be. Everything can be done anonymously to protect your privacy.

When it comes to preventing the abuse in the first place, experts agree that it all begins at home. Parents should be involved in their kid’s lives so they can spot the signs of abuse as early as possible. Make sure you know who your son or daughter is dating and what their family lives are like. Monitor cell phones and social media accounts. If your child begins to act differently- perhaps they are acting out or seem depressed- it can also be a sign of abuse. If you suspect something is going on, don’t wait, reach out for help.

February 05, 2019