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Hemens's son Colin says he has already seen a friend experience emotional abuse from his girlfriend."It wasn't physical, it was mostly emotional abuse.She'd make him feel like garbage and he'd cry," Colin said.
As his teenagers get older, Hemens wonders how they'll cope if they become interested in someone who does not return their affection.
He said he initiates that discussion by asking his sons questions such as, "Where do you stand on that? " Hemens tells them the answer is a clear "no" and he goes on to explore how to manage one's emotions in that situation."That, more than anything, can lead to a frustration they don't know how to deal with," he said.
Hemens insists that even if the education system takes on the issue of relationship violence, parents can't afford to drop the ball."If [parents] don't teach them, you can't assume they're going to learn somewhere else," he said.
That said, he wonders if all his discussions with his sons are having an impact."No parent knows what they're doing.
The trick is going to be making sure that they're not the victims," he said.
Hemens is trying to teach his sons to find the balance between respecting other people's boundaries while also being assertive enough to enforce their own.
Hemens, who served in the Canadian Armed Forces in Bosnia and now works in sales, lives in Rosemère with his wife and their sons Colin, 14, and Aidan, 13.
The family openly discusses relationship violence often — not in an official way, but whenever the opportunity comes up, said Hemens.
He never took responsibility for his actions or expressed remorse.
Myers was one of 15 children whose death was declared a domestic violence homicide within a 10-year period in Saskatchewan.
It also leads to conversations about how all relationships have to be mutual, said Hemens.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating