Featured Stories

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awarence Month

Brought to you by Melissa Walsh, PA-C of the Maple Street Clinic P.C

Melissa Walsh, PA-C

This is a topic that should be im­portant to all of us as we strive to keep our children safe and teach them how to be respectful, empa­thetic, engaged members of soci­ety. Here are some statistics that may surprise you.

• Relationship abuse often first occurs between the ages of 11 and 17.

• Women between the ages of 16-24 are the most likely victims.

• One out of four 8th and 9th grade students report that they have been the victim of some form of relationship abuse.

It may not be as easy as look­ing at your child to know that they have been victimized. Both emotional and sexual abuse are very real and very serious. Emo­tional abuse can take forms such as shaming and bullying. Sexual abuse includes blackmailing/shaming for sex, releasing private photos and texts to other students or even rape.

What can you do to help?

• Meet your child's boyfriend/girlfriend

• Know the warning signs of abuse

° Is your child's partner ex­tremely jealous/possessive or do they text/call constantly?

° Does your child have unex­plained marks/bruises?

° Have they become anxious/depressed or given up once loved activities? Or have they stopped taking care of themselves, started dressing differently, not bathing, etc.?

• Remain open to discussion

° Listen, give encouragement and show concern.

° Be patient and understand that it may take some time to get the whole story.

° Try to avoid demonizing your child's partner, instead focus on why the abusive behaviors are un­acceptable.

Finally, remember to bring your child in for regular well child examinations with their doctor. Sometimes it is easier for children to talk to a trusted adult, who is not a parent.

Maple Street Clinic, P.C.

1825 Maple St.

Forest Grove, OR 97116

503-357-2136

www.maplestreetclinic.com