Information for Teens

1.5 million teens experience dating abuse of some form each year.  Only 33% ask for help.   The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.  For ages 11 to 14 – 20% say their friends are victims of dating abuse.  (


Does the person you are seeing…

  • Seem jealous or possessive?
  • Call or text constantly?
  • Demand to know where you are and what you are doing?
  • Put you down, call you names or criticize you?
  • Follows you, shows up uninvited?
  • Control what you wear, what you do and with whom?
  • Check your phone?
  • Keep you from doing activities you like?
  • Stop you from seeing friends?
  • Threaten or scares you?
  • Make you feel nervous?
  • Blame you for their own anger?  Anger easily?
  • Hit, slap, push, choke, or kick you?
  • Pressure you to do things you don’t want to do?
  • Refuse to let you break up with them?
  • Threaten to hurt you or themselves if the relationship ends?

 If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you may be in an unhealthy relationship.

No one deserves to be abused.  Remember everyone is responsible for their own behavior.  It’s not your fault and you can’t change the behavior of your significant other.  It is important to ask for help from a trusted adult and develop a plan to keep you safe.                                                                                     

Behaviors that occur in healthy, unhealthy, and abusive relationships


How to help a friend:

If you suspect your friend might be in an abusive relationship you can help by:

  • Talking to them about it in private.
  • Listening without judgment.
  • Offering to go with them to tell a trusted adult such as a counselor, teacher, or parent.
  • Describing behaviors and actions that concern you, not people.
  • Allowing your friend to make her or his own decisions and remaining supportive even if you disagree with their choices.
  • Offering support even if you feel that you are doing nothing.

It is important to remember to try not to have all the answers.  Don’t pressure your friend into making any decisions.  Never confront their significant other about the situation.


Early warning signs your child may be in an abusive relationship


Helpful numbers and websites

Shelter for Help in Emergency 24-hour Hotline: (434) 293-8509

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 866-331-9474

Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA)

Jefferson Area CHIP for Teens

The Women’s Initiative

Planned Parenthood for Teens

Region Ten


Project Unbreakable