Title IX, The Clery Act, and The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) guide how colleges have to respond to sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking on campus.Many colleges are rewriting their policies to keep up with changes in these laws and to best help victims.Let your teen know that you are concerned for their safety by saying things like: “You don’t deserve to be treated like this;” “You deserve to be in a relationship where you are treated with respect” and “This is not your fault.” Point out that what’s happening isn’t “normal.” Everyone deserves a safe and healthy relationship.When talking about the abuse, speak about the behaviors you don’t like, not the person.If you know these laws and your school’s policies you’ll be able to pinpoint where changes need to happen.All colleges must have a Title IX Coordinator who understands these laws and works on the school’s response to sexual violence, if you know who the Coordinator is on campus then you’ll know who to go to with concerns.
Also, talking badly about your son or daughter’s partner could discourage your teen from asking for your help in the future.
Others worry that parents won’t believe them or understand.
If they do come to you to talk, let it be on their terms, and meet them with understanding, not judgment. Your child may be reluctant to share their experiences in fear of no one believing what they say.
Your child may feel ashamed of what’s happening in their relationship.
Many teens fear that their parents may overreact, blame them or be disappointed.