It is sometimes difficult to know if an adolescent is experiencing intimate partner violence because she or he may exhibit symptoms that are also warning signs of other social, family or personal problems. Some of these signs are:
- Physical: injuries, pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections
- Psychological: changes in mood or personality, indecision, anger
- Social: isolation, withdrawal from friends and family, emotional outbursts
- School: failing grades, truancy, dropping out
- Substance abuse: use of drugs and/or alcohol
An adolescent who exhibits one or more of these signs may or may not be experiencing IPV. Or, she or he may be dealing with IPV in addition to other problems. For this reason, if you are worried about an adolescent who is struggling at school or at home, it is important to consider whether IPV is a factor and to provide the teen with a safe setting in which to discuss this or other concerns.