Experiencing a crime can be traumatic, whether it involves a stolen wallet or a physical assault. For parents, the experience can be a magnitude of worse when it’s their teenage children who become victims of crime, especially at the hands of other teenagers.
Statistically, teens are twice as likely as any other age group to be victims of violence and property crimes. Girls are more likely to be victims of sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking, while boys are more likely to be victims of assault, robbery, and even homicide.
Such occurrences are unimaginably awful. We want you to know there are ways to protect high school aged children from juvenile crimes. Your involvement in their daily lives and starting to steer them towards low-risk peer groups and environments can help.
We know this is easier said than done. Teenagers by nature seek independence, excitement and discovery, rather than restraint, and especially when around other teenagers. They also care more about not being ostracized and embarrassed than they do about getting hurt.
Through rapport-building communication, setting a good example, and helping them set healthier boundaries instead of expecting them to set their own limits, parents can help their teenagers avoid, or reduce exposure to, high-risk situations. For example, forbidding a teenager to go to a party or dangerous place could have a reverse effect. Helping him or her build better decision-making skills by thinking through dangerous situations, however, and adding a curfew, can lead to safer results.
Outside of school, parents should be in close proximity to their teens as much as reasonably possible, especially after school, at dinnertime and at night. Further parents should also know their teens’ whereabouts at all times, and actively monitor who their friends are, including online engagement.
Social networks like Facebook can be a place for teens to hang-out, but it can also be a tool for bullies and criminals. Lesser known social media sites can attract a host of bad actors, raising the potential for targeting to spill over into everyday life.
As a parent, it can be important to know what is out there. By educating yourself on what is out there you may be able to limit access to these bad online “neighborhoods” the same way you would try to limit exposure to potentially dangerous physical neighborhoods.
Teenagers need to act as responsibly as possible as well. They can do their part to stay safe by letting their parents know where they are, where they’ll be, and how they can be reached. Enrolling teenage children in high school safety programs can also be a great way to educate them about the risks of juvenile victimization.
Do you have questions on this article? Need tips? Want to share yours or let us know your experience, do not wait to let us know. We are your Tallahassee law firm. Do not wait to contact us with your questions. Our experienced legal team is here to represent you 24 /7.