Guard against abuse in teen relationships

Many parents dread the day their child begins dating. If the thought of your teen holding hands or crafting love sonnets is difficult, then a conversation about dating violence would likely send you packing.

Parents have so much to worry about; I understand why the topic of healthy relationships is overlooked. The reality is that teens are dating. If we don’t provide guidance about healthy relationship, we risk setting them up for lifelong trauma. One in three adolescents experiences abuse in a relationship; without knowledge, the possibility of becoming entangled in an abusive relationship is increased.

Start by reinforcing that your child can talk to you without judgment. Let your children know that you care about their health and safety, and that they should stand up for themselves in situations that seem controlling, abusive, unsafe or against their values. Learn the warning signs, and if you suspect that your teen is involved in an abusive realtionship, reach out for help.

Colleen Merlo Central Islip

Editor’s note: The writer is the executive director of L.I. Against Domestic Violence, a nonprofit advocacy organization.

Raise incomes for taxing Social Security

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Before Ronald Reagan’s presidency, Social Security benefits were not taxable. In 1983, he instituted a tax on these benefits, but only for recipients within a certain income range.

The dollar value above which one was considered for taxation was $25,000 in income for a single person and $32,000 for married people. Strangely, while the value for exemptions was indexed to inflation, the income figures were not. This has subjected retirees to bracket creep.

If the income numbers had been adjusted for inflation, the value would be almost one and a half times greater, making the amounts roughly $60,000 for singles and $77,000 for married people.

Our representatives should do right by seniors, correct this injustice and revise the income numbers to reflect inflation.

This amount should then be indexed in the same manner as exemptions are. For seniors on Long Island, this would help to compensate for the minimal cost-of-living raises in recent years.

Joseph Squerciati Hicksville