- Your friend’s partner uses put downs and name calling to make your friend feel bad.
- If your friend is talking to someone of the opposite sex, her/his partner gets extremely jealous, even when it’s completely innocent.
- You friend apologizes for her/his partner’s behavior and makes up excuses about their behavior or attitude.
- Your friend frequently cancels plans at the last minute, for reasons that sound untrue.
- Your friend’s partner is always checking up on her/him. Your friend constantly gets phone calls, text messages, IMs and e-mails from her/his partner demanding to know where they are and who they’ve been with.
- You’ve seen your friend’s partner lose their temper, maybe even break or hit things when they’re mad.
- Your friend is always worried about upsetting or angering their partner.
- Your friend starts becoming more isolated and stops participating in activities that they used to enjoy regularly.
- Your friend’s weight, appearance or grades have changed dramatically. These could be signs of depression, which could indicate abuse.
- You friend has injuries that can’t be explained or the explanations don’t make sense.
What can I do to help?
Talking with a friend in an abusive relationship can make a big difference to them – whether they are being abused or being abusive. Sometimes, it can be difficult to know what to say or how to say it, especially if you’ve never dealt with this issue before.
When talking to your friend:
- Listen to what they have to say.
- Talk to them in private and keep what they say confidential.
- Let your friend know why you are concerned. Be specific. Refer to incidents you have personally witnessed instead of what you have heard from others.
- Offer to get your friend information.
- Mention other people your friend might talk to – a counselor, a teacher or another adult that they trust.
- Let them know that you are available to talk if they need to.
- Give them information to talk to a teen dating abuse hotline or refer them to a helpful Web site.
- Help your friend establish a Dating Bill of Rights.
- Be judgemental.
- Make them feel stupid or ashamed.
- Ask lots of yes or no questions. Instead, give your friend a chance to talk freely.
- Force your friend to make a decision or give ultimatums. They have to decide when they are ready to get help or end their relationship. You can’t do it for them.
- Abandon your friend. As a friend, you can help them get out of this situation.
- Feel like you have to know all of the answers. You can rely on others, like teen dating violence programs, to answer the “tough” questions.
Information compiled from The National Teen Dating Abuse Web site and Liz Claiborne Inc.
Want to get the facts?
- Check out our Myths & Facts page and learn the truth about teen dating violence.
- For teen dating abuse statistics, click here.
Even though an abuser may have an excuse for his or her abusive behavior, ABUSE IS INEXCUSABLE.
If you are interested in having a PADV representative come to your school or youth group to talk about dating violence, please call 404.870.9600.