Teens and Domestic Violence

A Few Facts about Teen Dating Violence

TeensTeen dating violence is what happens in a teen dating relationship when one person uses abuse to gain power and keep control over their partner. This abuse can be physical, emotional, or sexual.

• Ninety-five percent of reported abuse is male violence toward women.
• Abuse can happen in many types of relationships, between boyfriends and girlfriends, as well as in gay or lesbian relationships.
Recent surveys showed that an average of 28% of the students surveyed experienced violence in a dating relationship. That is more than one in every four students.
• Teen dating violence can happen to anyone no matter where they live, or what kind of home they come from.

Teen dating violence is scary and dangerous. It is hard to leave an abusive relationship at any age. Victims need support, safety, and assistance in order to leave.

Ask yourself the following questions about your relationship:

Are you afraid of your partner?
• Does your partner call you names, put you down, and/or embarrass you?
• Does your partner say that no one else would ever go out with you?
• Does your partner tell you where you can go, who you can see and talk to and/or what you can wear?
• Do you feel cut off from your friends and family?
• Are you afraid of how your partner will react to what you say or do?
• Does your partner make decisions for you?
• Does your partner’s jealousy stop you from doing or saying things?
• Does your partner accuse you of flirting or sleeping around?
• Has your partner ever pushed, slapped, punched, kicked or hurt you? Are you afraid that he will?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you may be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship.

Please remember the following:

IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. There is nothing that you can do to deserve to be abused.
You can’t stop the violence.
• You deserve to be treated with respect.
• Plan for your safety.
• There are people who can help. Talk to a friend, teacher, guidance counselor, or call 973.427.1800. All services are confidential.
• It is important to stay safe. Talk to someone who can help.

How to help a friend in an abusive relationship

Tell them that it is not their fault.
• Tell them that they don’t deserve it.
• Believe them and let them know that you do.
• Be supportive, but don’t tell them what to do.
• Whatever they decide it is their decision. Don’t blame them for the abuse or their decisions. It is difficult to leave a relationship and they may not be ready yet.
• Offer to go with them to talk to someone such as a teacher, a counselor, or an advocate.
• Continue to be there for them even if they do not leave the relationship.
• Let them know that they can always come to you.
• Don’t spread gossip. It could be dangerous for them.
• Help them to make a safety plan.
• Give them good information about abuse. You can call 973-427-1800 for information.
• Remember that you can’t fix it, but you can be helpful by being a good friend.

Please contact us here if you would like to report a case of abuse.