Why it's important to talk to teen girls about abusive behaviors

Recently, new information has surfaced about George Huguely V and his ongoing trial for the murder of Yeardley Love. As more details about Huguely’s and Love’s relationship are brought to light, one thing has become clear: signs of instability and violence were definitely present in the months before her May 2010 death.

During the statements made in court on Wednesday, prosecutors said that in the days before her death, Huguely wrote Love an email that, at one point, read, “I should have killed you.” Several friends of the two lacrosse players also came forward to describe various incidents in which Huguely threatened Love. In one terrifying testimonial, a student from another university heard noise coming from Huguely’s bedroom and opened the door to find him grabbing Love in a choke hold on his bed. Her mom, who picked her up shortly after the incident, described how “shaken” Love appeared to be.

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Love’s death is a prime example of what happens when too little is done too late. The case serves an especially important reminder to moms about the significance of talking to your daughters about abusive patterns –and pointing them out if you notice any in their relationship.  It’s a line that’s hard to distinguish. As a parent, you want to make sure they’re safe.  At the same time, you also don’t want to seem too involved in their personal life.

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I’m not a mom, but as a recent college graduate who socialized and dated regularly at school, this case struck home for me. It reminded me about how dangerous young relationships can be, especially when jealousy and hostility become involved. It also got me thinking about how lucky I am to have a mother who likes to pepper me with questions about my friends, my relationships and my life in general. She’s overly involved and guess what? I appreciate it. It’s nice knowing I can go to her for anything and she’ll have my back.

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Keeping the channels of communication between you and your daughter open, like my mom does, should be a top priority for all mothers. No matter how uncomfortable the conversations get or how determined your daughter is to keep her mouth shut, trying to establish an open dialogue is helpful and potentially life-saving. If you think that your daughter is in a threatening relationship, offer a listening ear and help her understand her options. I guarantee that no matter how she reacts, your opinion and guidance will matter.

These are the abusive patterns you should watch out for:

  • Excessive jealousy
  • Explosive fights
  • Obsessive calling/texting/emailing
  • Controlling behavior
  • Verbal threats
  • Unpredictable temper

 Would you speak up if you thought your daughter was in an abusive relationship?

Images via YouTube