ChooseRespect.org : Preventing Dating Abuse : Teens : Get Involved

Help Others

Be a positive force and get involved in preventing dating abuse. You can make a huge impact. Don’t just be a bystander. You can help out your friend, school, and community in many ways.

Talk With Your Parents

Your parents can be awesome people to talk to about having healthy dating relationships. Here are some tips to get the conversation started.

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Get Involved...

Get Help

You deserve to be in healthy relationship and to be treated with respect. You're worth it. Your friends and family care about your happiness and safety, too. You can get help from trusted friends or adults. Community resources are also available to give you the support you need.

Get medical or legal help if you need it.

If your dating partner has physically or sexually abused you, get medical attention or call the police right away. Assault of any kind is against the law! There are laws to protect you.

Know that the abuse is NOT your fault.

Abuse is NEVER your fault, no matter what your boyfriend or girlfriend might say. Don't believe these accusations. Abusive people use guilt and shame to control their dating partners. They are completely responsible for their actions.

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. Tell them what is going on so they can look out for you and keep your safety in mind.

Think things through.

When you're in a dating relationship and you genuinely care for someone, sometimes feelings can blind you to what's really going on. Take a step back and think whether you should be feeling the way you do in the relationship. Think about the expectations that you have for your relationship and whether your boyfriend or girlfriend meets them.

Make a safety plan.

It's important to plan ahead to keep yourself safe. A safety plan will help you identify what you would do if the abuse happened again. Use this safety plan as a springboard and make it your own.

Surround yourself with support.

It may be tempting to withdraw from friends or family because you feel embarrassed or ashamed about what's going on. Or maybe you fear their reactions. But, avoid this temptation. This is the time when support matters most. Allow your friends, parents, and trusted adults like teachers and coaches to be there for you.

What if you are being abusive in the relationship?