Get the Facts...

Why Does Abuse Happen?

Treat others with respect. This idea may seem like common sense. After all, why not give respect if you'll get it in return?

The truth is, quite a few teens are abusive in their relationships. And many think it's justified. After all, society seems to be okay with it-just look at all the TV shows and listen to popular songs these days. Abuse is not fair, and it's not right. But there are reasons why it happens.

Abuse is related to certain risk factors

Risks of having unhealthy relationships increase for teens who:
  • Believe it's okay to use threats or violence to get their way or to express frustration or anger
  • Use alcohol or drugs
  • Can't manage anger or frustration
  • Hang out with violent peers
  • Have low self-esteem or are depressed
  • Have learning difficulties and other problems at school
  • Don't have parental supervision and support
  • Witness abuse at home or in the community
  • Have a history of aggressive behavior or bullying

Abuse is a choice

No matter what excuses abusers make to themselves or their dating partners for their behaviors, abuse is still their choice. They will continue the abuse unless someone confronts them and helps them stop it.

Abuse is about power and control

Abusers may feel insecure or uncertain about themselves or their lives. Or they may feel like they don't have much control over anything. So they use power and control in their relationships to make themselves feel better.