One in three teens is physically, emotionally or verbally abused by a dating partner. Does your boyfriend or girlfriend do any of the following:
- Call you names, make fun of you? Put you down?
- Act extremely jealous and possessive?
- Want to know where you are at all times? Check up on you?
- Call and text you constantly? Does he or she get angry if you don’t call back immediately or aren’t available?
- Criticize your friends, family, clothes, interests?
- Tell you what you can and can’t do?
- Pressure or force you to do things that make you uncomfortable or go against your values? Pressure or force you to have sex?
- Threaten to hurt you, your pets, family and friends?
- Threaten to hurt him or herself if you break up?
- Cause you to stop spending time with friends and family, or you avoid them to keep him or her from getting angry?
- Hit, push, pinch, grab, shove, pull or do other violent things to you?
If you said yes to any of the above, then you are probably in an abusive relationship. It is important that you get help. Abuse only increases over time.
Top Reasons You Won’t Ask for Help
- You can handle this yourself – Asking for help doesn’t mean you aren’t smart and capable. Abusers depend on your silence. Get information on dating violence so you can make informed decisions. Call the National Teen Dating Violence Helpline at 1-866-331-9474 or go to their website at www.loveisrespect.org. Your calls are confidential and teen advocates are there to talk with you.
- You love him/her – You probably believe if you just keep trying then one day he or she will become the person you want them to be and you’ll live happily ever after. It takes two people to make a relationship work; anyone can “I love you”. It’s how one behaves in a relationship that’s important.
- He/she needs you and can’t live without you – You feel sorry for him or her, maybe you feel responsible for fixing his or her problems. Your boy/girlfriend needs a therapist or counselor who is trained to help them. If you believe they may become suicidal, tell his or her parents, a school counselor, your parents, or an adult who can help.
- You’re Afraid – He or she has threatened you if you break up. You’re worried about how your parents will react if they find out about the abuse. Ending a relationship with an abuser can be dangerous. Your safety is important and your parents can help you stay safe. In Indiana, if you are under 18 years old, your parent or guardian can file a protective order on your behalf. Make a safety plan too.
- You’re Embarrassed – Dating violence can happen to anyone, it is not your fault. Don’t let your concerns about what other people think keep you from taking care of yourself and doing what is best for you.
- You Don’t Want to be Alone – Okay, you will probably feel lonely, that’s normal. Do all the things you weren’t able to do when you were in the relationship. Spend time with your family, go out with friends, focus on the things that you love: music, art, dance, sports, hobbies, etc. Get a job or volunteer for a cause you care about. You don’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend to matter. You just need to believe in yourself.