Krista McNallyFeb 13, 2018, 5:56 pmFeb 14, 2018, 3:52 pm

Officials use social media to teach teens difference between love, emotional abuse

According to statistics, 3 out of 4 parents do not discuss domestic violence with their children

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HAUPPAGUE — Every year, 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner. Wednesday, Suffolk County is working to combat that by launching a social media campaign to educate teens and connect them with resources for help.

"In the area of relationships and love and courtship that happens with teenagers, any kind of physical, sexual, emotional, psychological abuse is intolerable," Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said.

Suffolk County partnered with New York state for a campaign to bring teens and parents into the discussion about abuse. According to statistics, three out of four parents do not discuss domestic violence with their children, and the signs are not always obvious.

"It is often less obvious and can be verbal: Saying or texting demeaning things, calling someone names, tracking their every move, sharing photos without their permission, and blaming them for what is happening," said Gwen Wright of the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence.

Some signs parents should look out for are unexplainable bruises, depression, and loss of interest in friends or activities.

Officials hope that teens are the ambassadors of getting out the word that domestic violence will not be tolerated.

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