Know that it is not your fault. Emotional support is extremely important—make sure you have someone to talk to. There are many resources available to you. If you have experienced dating violence, please contact your local crisis intervention center for assistance. For a full list of local crisis intervention centers, click here.
For more resources on dating violence, click here.
The majority of people who experience dating violence will tell a close friend rather than a family member or a teacher. So, it is important for you to know what to do if you suspect that someone you know is in an abusive relationship or they tell you about abuse in their relationship.
1. Do not be afraid to reach out to a friend you think may be in an abusive relationship.
2. Tell them that you are concerned for their safety and you want to help them.
3. If they tell you about abuse in their relationship, believe them. Remind them that you are there to support them.
4. Listen and be supportive. Do not judge them or give advice.
5. Acknowledge their feelings and be respectful of their decisions.
6. Avoid asking questions. Let them share whatever they are comfortable sharing with you.
7. Help your friend recognize that abuse is not normal and that it is not their fault. Everyone deserves to have a healthy relationship.
8. Focus on your friend, not on their abusive partner. Do not attempt to confront the abusive partner or tell the victim that you will confront them.
9. Encourage them to seek further help. Be prepared with information about community resources that could give them information and guidance. Offer to go with them if they would like.
10. Do not make promises. Avoid telling them, “Everything will be okay.” This statement minimizes the incidents and are things you have no control over.
February is Teen Dating Awareness Month. For years, young people across the nation have organized to put a stop to dating abuse. With their adult allies, they achieved a major victory in 2005 when the importance of addressing teen dating abuse was highlighted in the re authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. The following year, Congress followed the lead of dozens of national, state and local organizations in sounding the call to end dating abuse. Both Chambers declared the first full week in February “National Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Week.” Then in 2010, they began dedicating the entire month of February to teen dating violence awareness and prevention. (Source)