Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe, you probably are. Don’t wait; talk to someone you trust immediately, a parent or the parent of a friend, an older sibling, a teacher, school counselor, or school nurse, your doctor or faith-based leader. It’s not your fault. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
If you talk to an adult, know that some adults are prohibited by law from keeping dating violence a secret. They must tell the police about the abuse. These people are called “mandated reporters.” Some examples of mandated reporters are teachers, counselors, doctors, and sometimes coaches or other activity leaders. You can ask people whether they are mandated reporters before talking with them.
If you want to stay in the relationship, realize that the violence will not just stop or go away. You cannot change your boyfriend or girlfriend’s behavior by changing your behavior, nor are you in any way responsible for the abuse. Your boyfriend or girlfriend may need counseling or other outside help to change and you may need support so that you can begin to heal.
You should think ahead about ways to be safe if you are in a violent dating relationship. It takes a lot of courage to end any relationship. If there’s violence involved, it can take a whole lot more. Here are some things to consider in thinking about your safety.
If someone is in immediate danger, call 911.
If you or a friend might be in an abusive relationship, talk to a parent/caregiver, a school counselor, or another adult you trust, or a local domestic or sexual violence program.
National Dating Abuse Helpline
www.loveisrespect.org to chat online
National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
National Sexual Assault Hotline
1-833-656-HOPE (4673) or
www.rainn.org to chat online
When talking to a friend who is being abusive, here are some things to keep in mind:
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