If you or someone you know is involved in an abusive relationship, resources are available to get help now.
I remember all too well how alone I felt trapped inside my relationship. I was afraid to share my situation with anyone, even my parents, siblings, and most trusted friends.
Everyone has the right to live a life free from abuse, and reaching out for help is the first step toward living the life you deserve.
Early warning signs that your date may eventually become abusive:
- Consider double-dating the first few times you go out with a new person.
- Before leaving on a date, know the exact plans for the evening and make sure a parent or friend knows these plans and what time to expect you home. Let your date know that you are expected to call or tell that person when you get in.
- Be aware of your decreased ability to react under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- If you leave a party with someone you do not know well, make sure you tell another person you are going and with whom. Ask a friend to call and make sure you arrive home safely.
- Assert yourself when necessary. Be firm and straightforward in your relationships.
- Trust your instincts. If a situation makes you uncomfortable, try to be calm and think of a way to remove yourself from the situation.
Safety Planning for Teens
Thinking about ways to be safe in your relationship if you are in a dangerous or potentially dangerous relationship can help prevent a critical event or, worse, death. Here are some things to consider in designing your safety plan.
- What adults can you tell about the violence and abuse?
- What people at school can you tell to be safe–teachers, principal, counselors, security?
- Discuss involving the police and employing a restraining order as part of your plan with trusted adults.
- Consider changing your school locker or lock.
- Consider changing your route to/from school.
- Use a buddy system for going to school, classes, and after-school activities.
- What friends can you tell to help you remain safe?
- If stranded, who could you call for a ride home?
- Keep a journal describing the abuse.
- Get rid of or change the number to any cell phones, or paging devices, the abuser gave you.
- Keep spare change, calling cards, the number of the local shelter, the number of someone who could help you, and a copy of the restraining orders with you at all times.
- Where could you go quickly to get away from an abusive person?
- What other things can you do?
There are many resources available for you or someone you know to get help. Keep in mind the first 72 hours are the most dangerous for a victim of abuse.