The idea that our children could be in abusive relationships may be too horrible to think about, but it's something we need to confront and understand. Abuse often starts small, but if you don't deal with it early, it can become something more serious, and form a pattern of repeated behavior that continues through adult life.
A survey (in PDF) of teens (ages 15-18), tweens (ages 11-14), and their parents conducted by Teen Research Unlimited and Liz Claiborne found that most parents were surprisingly unaware of their children's dating lives. Fifty-four percent of parents felt they knew 'a lot' about their tween's dating habits, while only 35 percent of tweens agreed that their parents knew 'a lot.' Parents were also unaware of the amount of dating abuse that goes on in schools.