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Warning Signs

Some of the following signs are just part of being a teen. But, when these changes happen suddenly, or without an explanation, these signs could signal abuse. Look out for these signs in your friends and classmates.

Warning signs of an abusive relationship

  • Bruises, scratches, or other injuries
  • Failing grades
  • Dropping out of school activities
  • Avoiding friends and social events
  • Indecision
  • Changes in clothes or make-up
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Secrecy
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Crying spells or hysteria fits
  • Constant thoughts about the dating partner
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Sudden changes in mood or personality
  • Fearfulness around the dating partner or when his or her name is mentioned

Warning signs of an abusive person

People who are abusive in dating relationships can be affected in the long run, too:
  • Wants to get serious in the relationship quickly
  • Will not take no for an answer
  • Is jealous and possessive
  • Makes all the decisions
  • Dismisses other people's opinions and feelings
  • Wants to control a person's friends and activities
  • Puts constant pressure on someone
  • Demands to know where someone is all the time
  • Uses guilt trips-"If you really loved me, you would..."
  • Feels that he or she deserves unconditional love and support
  • Has a history of bad relationships
  • Blames the person for his or her feelings and actions-"You asked for it" or "You made me mad"
  • Apologizes for violent behavior and promises not to do it again