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3. Take intelligent action: If you discover your child is being abused, it can be tempting to issue a firm directive, but that’s not always the best approach.
Better to come up with a plan together, Levy said, so that you teach self-protection skills in the process: “I use my observations and my concern to ask direct, clear questions: ‘I notice every time he texts you, you get scared. Are you being hurt in any way? My main goal is that you’re not hurt. I want that to be your goal, too. Let’s think about how we can handle this.’ ”
Physical abuse is a different story. “If you see signs of physical abuse, then your child has been assaulted, and assault is a crime,” Murray says. “That’s when you tell your child, ‘You’ve been assaulted, and I’m calling the police.’ And you absolutely call the police. If your child has bruises or marks, it’s game over.”