One in three teenagers experiences emotional and/or physical abuse in a dating relationship and both are detrimental to their well-being, health and safety. In dating abuse, one partner tries to maintain power and control over the other through some kind of mistreatment. If you can answer yes to any of the questions below, please call or text Safe+Sound’s 24-hour confidential hotline at 866-685-1122 immediately and know that it is not your fault.
Do You Feel:
- Nervous or afraid around your boyfriend or girlfriend?
- Alone, isolated from friends and family?
- Pressure to say yes to sex?
- Harassed on social media by your partner?
- Constantly questioned about what you do, how you dress or who you are with?
- Afraid to end the relationship because your partner has threatened to hurt you or others, or commit suicide?
Safe & Healthy Dating Relationships
Setting boundaries is an important part of any relationship. Both partners should know each other’s wants and limitations. You should feel comfortable communicating your needs and concerns to your partner without ever feeling afraid. If your partner disregards your feelings, then you are not receiving the respect you deserve.
- Date someone you already know.
- Use extra caution when dating someone you meet online. Meet in a public place and use your own transportation.
- Know your limits and communicate them. Do not feel pressured to do anything outside of your comfort level.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol.
- Go out in public, especially in new relationships.
- Always have money and a cell phone with you.
Relationships can be confusing. It’s often difficult for teens and adults to know when a behavior crosses the line from healthy to unhealthy. Use these warning signs to help you recognize unhealthy behaviors in your relationship.
- Constantly putting you down or insulting your appearance or intelligence.
- Reading your texts, emails or Facebook messages.
- Humiliating you in front of others.
- Following you, stalking you or telling you that you can’t talk to certain people.
- Jealousy, insecurity or an explosive temper.
- Isolating you from family or friends.
- Hurting you in anyway (physically, emotionally, sexually).
- Possessive behavior.
- Pressuring or forcing you to have sex, drink alcohol or take drugs.
Remember to trust your instincts and listen to your gut. If you’re in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable, stay calm and remove yourself from the situation. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
Ending a Relationship is Never Easy:
- Protect yourself. Talk to someone if you are afraid to end a relationship. Do not do it alone. Confide in an adult you can trust—a parent, relative or teacher. You can call or text our confidential 24-hour hotline at 866-685-1122.
- You matter. Make the best decision for you and your well-being, regardless of what anyone else may say or believe.
- Remember that you cannot fix someone else. You can only control your behavior.
- It’s not your fault. You are not responsible for the way your partner feels.
- Love does not hurt physically or mentally.
- No contact rule. Continued texts or talking to each other will only prolong the pain of ending a relationship.