I recently wrote an article for Partners in Social Change, the publication from the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs that addresses how parents can most effectively talk with their youth about sexual violence. Here is a clip from my article:
“Parents have a unique position in their teenagers’ lives. They have daily access to the dating relationships and associated emotions that young people live through. This provides parents with a front row seat to be aware of issues in relationships and potential warning signs of violence. Nevertheless, without a strong conversational relationship - one that includes topics of sex, sexuality, and violence - parents are likely to miss important signs that would allow them to support their teenager.
It is never too late to start conversations about sexual (and relationship-based) violence. Opening up a new area of conversation between two people is often awkward, regardless of what the relationship is. However, these initially awkward topics can evolve into the most important and relationship strengthening lines of communication.”
I include an elaboration on my ten tips for parents to talk with their kids about sex that addresses how the tips apply in the situation of sexual violence.
You can download the magazine, including my article, in PDF form.