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When Dating Becomes Dangerous by Patti Occhiuzzo Giggans, MA & Barrie Levy, MSW

Dating DangerousFIN


The parents of teenagers suffering in violent or abusive relationships often feel worried, isolated, and confused about how to help their child. But they are not alone—and neither are their children. The fact is that nearly 40 percent of female adolescents have experienced relationship abuse—be it emotional or physical—and 20 percent of that group are victims of sexual violence.  Add to this the statistic that one of every three women murdered in the United States is killed by a husband or boyfriend and it is no wonder that parents are terrified to the point of immobilization when it comes to helping their child break out of an abusive relationship.

In their new book, WHEN DATING BECOMES DANGEROUS: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Relationship Abuse, Patti Occhiuzzo Giggans, MA, executive director of Peace Over Violence, and Barrie Levy, MSW, author of In Love and in Danger, equip parents with the tools and expert advice needed not only to prevent their child from entering an abusive relationship but to end a destructive relationship before it goes too far. By drawing on examples, case studies, and research, WHEN DATING BECOMES DANGEROUS offers answers to key questions on the minds of parents today:

• How can I teach my son or daughter, gay or straight, the warning signs that they are in an unsafe relationship?
• How can I show my child what a healthy relationship looks like—now and when they become an adult?
• How can I prevent my child from becoming abusive or abused?
• What forms of relationship violence are common today (e.g., via social media, texting)?
• What warning signs of abuse and trauma should I be looking for?
• How and why does my child stay in the relationship even while being mistreated?
• How can I manage my reaction to my child’s relationship, and when is the right time to intervene?
• What is the best course of action for guiding my teen through a breakup?

With WHEN DATING BECOMES DANGEROUS, parents can rest assured that they are sending their teenager out into the dating world equipped with the knowledge, strength, and communication skills to walk away from harmful relationships and develop healthy ones.


Patti Occhiuzzo Giggans, MA, and Barrie Levy, MSW are both experts on relationship violence. Giggans works as executive director of Peace Over Violence, headquartered in Los Angeles. She has her own blog on the Huffington Post ( and a YouTube channel, PeaceOverViolence. Levy, a violence prevention specialist, is the author of In Love and in Danger and the editor of Dating Violence, a collection of writings about adolescent dating abuse and violence.

Hazelden Publishing is part of the Hazelden Foundation, a national nonprofit organization founded in 1949 that helps people reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction. With 60 years of knowledge and experience, Hazelden offers a comprehensive approach to addiction that addresses the full range of patient, family, and professional needs, including treatment and continuing care for youth and adults, research, higher education, public education and advocacy, and publishing. It has facilities in Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, Florida, and New York.