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When most people think of domestic violence, they think of a parent abusing a child or one spouse abusing the other. Rarely do they think of teens abusing their parents. Yet, it happens more often than you might think, which, given that you are seeking advice on the topic, you may well know. If you are the victim of parental abuse in Georgia, you need to respond quickly and appropriately, otherwise, your child may continue to redirect his or her rage in an unhealthy manner. That said, how do you respond? Do you call the authorities, a therapist or try to resolve the issue on your own? The answer depends on the extent of the abuse and what remedies you have tried in the past.

If you are like many abused parents, you may not consider your teen’s actions “abusive.” EmpoweringParents.com provides signs to help you differentiate between normal teen behavior and abuse.

If you feel intimated by your child’s presence, or if your child intimidates you into getting his or her way, you may be the victim of abuse. If your child demonstrates extreme defiance — extreme meaning he or she shows no respect for authority, outright defies your rules and shows no concern for consequences — he or she may be abusive. If you notice an escalating pattern of violence, it may be time to seek help for your child.

The type of help you seek depends on how violent your teen is. If your child is merely verbally abusive or takes his or her anger out on objects, you may be able to counsel him or her yourself. If that does not work, you may wish to obtain professional help for your teen in the form of therapy or anger management. However, if your teen physically abuses you or another member of your family, and if no amount of counseling or communication helps, it may be time to consider taking legal action.

Domestic violence is illegal no matter who does the abusing. Though you may struggle with the notion of calling the cops on your own child, bear in mind that if your teen behaves violently toward you now, there is a very real risk that he or she will act on his or her aggression in future relationships. Sadly, you may be doing your child a favor by contacting the authorities.

This article is not meant to serve as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.