Are you going out with someone who:
- is jealous and possessive, won't let you have friends, checks up on you, and/or won't accept breaking up?
- tries to control you by being very bossy, giving orders, making all the decisions, and/or not taking your opinions seriously?
- puts you down in front of friends and/or tells you that you would be nothing without him or her?
- scares you, makes you worry about reactions to things you say or do, threatens you, and/or uses or owns weapons?
- is violent, has a history of fighting, loses temper quickly, brags about mistreating others, and/or grabs, pushes, shoves, or hits you?
- pressures you for sex or is forceful or scary about sex?
- gets too serious about the relationship too fast?
- abuses alcohol or other drugs and pressures you to take them?
- has a history of failed relationships and blames the other person for all the problems?
- makes your family and friends uneasy and concerned for your safety?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you could be the victim of dating abuse.
Dating violence or abuse affects one in ten teen couples. Abuse is not just hitting. It is yelling, threatening, name-calling, saying "I'll kill myself if you leave me." It is obsessive phone calling and extreme possessiveness.
What if your partner is abusing you and you want out?
- Tell your parents, a friend, a counselor, a clergyman, or someone else whom you trust and who can help. The more isolated you are from friends and family, the more control the abuser has over you.
- Alert the school counselor or police.
- Keep a daily log of the abuse.
- Do not meet your partner alone. Do not let him or her in your home or car when you are alone.
- Avoid being alone at school, your job, on the way to and from places.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back.
- Plan and rehearse what you would do if your partner became abusive.
How to be a friend to a victim of dating violence:
Most teens talk to other teens about their problems. If a friend tells you he or she is being victimized, here are some suggestion on how you can help:
- If you notice a friend is in an abusive relationship, do not ignore the signs of abuse. Talk to your friend.
- Express your concerns. Tell your friend you are worried. Support, do not judge.
- Point out your friends strengths. Many people in abusive relationships are no longer capable of seeing their own abilities and gifts.
- Encourage them to confide in a trusted adult. Talk to a trusted adult if you believe the situation is getting worse. Offer to go with them for help.
- Never put yourself in a dangerous situation with the victims partner. Do not be a mediator.
- Call the police if you witness an assault.