: Preventing Dating Abuse : Teens : Get involved

Get Involved...

If You Are Being Abusive...

Maybe you're starting to realize that you are being abusive in your dating relationship. Or maybe you've known for a long time but didn't know where to turn for help. No matter what, the most important thing to know is there are people and resources in your community to help you.

Talk with someone.

Talk with someone you trust and feel comfortable around. This could be a good friend, your parents, or another trusted adult like your teacher, counselor, coach, or pastor. Ask for their honest opinions about your behavior, and be open-minded to what they have to say.

Get help for substance use if you need it.

Using alcohol or drugs is a bad way to deal with anger or frustration toward your boyfriend or girlfriend. It can impair your judgment about what's right and wrong. You shouldn't use alcohol or drugs to excuse your abuse either. Make it a priority to get treatment and the support services that you need.

Remember, you need to give respect to get it.

You're probably looking for love, respect, kindness, and affection from your boyfriend or girlfriend. Maybe you thought that being abusive and controlling was a good way to get those things. But, until you learn how to give respect and love to others, you won't be able to get it in return.

Be patient.

Dating abuse is a pattern that is established over a long time. Likewise, it will take a long time to undo these behaviors and practice healthy ones. The process won't be easy, but progress is possible if you commit to it.

Be kind to yourself.

Don't beat up on yourself. You're not a bad person. You just need help to stop some unhealthy dating behaviors. You can learn how to develop a healthy relationship. You can learn how to give and get respect.