Information for Teens
1 in 5 tweens – age 11 to 14 – say their friends are victims of dating violence and nearly half who are in relationships know friends who are verbally abused. Nationwide, nearly 1 in 10 high school students has been hit, slapped or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Does your boyfriend or girlfriend:
Seem jealous or possessive? Calls or texts you constantly and demands to know where you are and what you are doing? Puts you down, calls you names or criticizes you? Follows you, shows up uninvited, does the ‘drive by’? Controls what you wear, what you do and with whom? Checks your phone? Tries to get you to give up activities you like? Stops you from seeing friends? Belittles them? Threatens or scares you? Makes you feel nervous? Angers easily and blames you? Hits, slaps, pushes, trips or kicks you? Pressures you to do things you don’t want to do? Refuses to let you break up with them? Threatens 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 boyfriend or girlfriend. It is important to ask for help from a trusted adult and develop a plan to keep you safe.
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 when they tell a trusted adult such as a counselor, teacher, or parent.
- Telling your friend why you are concerned for their safety.
- Supporting their decisions.
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 boyfriend or girlfriend about the situation.