2FACT:One out of every four teenagers reports being abused by a partner.Sometimes, the abuse isn’t physical.Additional InformationTeens are at great risk for violence. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, there is physical or sexual abuse in one-third of teenage relationships. See According to website maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC)—some warning signs that a person is in an abusive relationship include: bruises, scratches, or other injuries; sudden changes in mood or personality; indecision; avoiding friends; secrecy; avoiding eye contact; and crying spells. Domestic violence affects all communities and people of all backgrounds and skin color.85% of domestic violence victims are women.
3“I had a relationship where he was real controlling “I had a relationship where he was real controlling. He could have his own friends, but I couldn’t. I didn’t do anything but sit at home and watch TV.”“They put you down. They tell you you’re so ugly, you’re so fat, no one’s going to want to be with you. And you start to believe it after a while.”“She was always suspicious. She even got my password out of me and started checking my phone messages.”Additional InformationHere are some examples of possessiveness, controlling behavior, or abusiveness from— calling a boyfriend or girlfriend names texting or calling excessively and getting upset when you don’t get a response— monitoring your partner’s or profile on a social networking site— feeling that you have a right to know where your partner is most of the time— getting jealous or angry when your partner spends time with friends or family— asking your partner to change his or her clothes or style of dress— getting in your partner’s face during a disagreement; pushing, slapping, or punching for any reason— restraining your partner from leaving during an argument— guilting or forcing your partner into having sex— threatening to hurt your partner or yourself if the relationship ends
4FACT: Emotional abuse can lead to violence. One out of every three teenagers knows someone who has been physically abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend.Additional InformationAccording to teens can take these steps when they believe a friend is being abused by his or her partner:— tell the friend specifically what they saw and why it is a problem— give the friend information about organizations that can help (listed at the end of this slide show)— urge the friend to seek help — take a stand and insist that the friend is not to blame for the abuse, and that the abuse is unacceptable
5“She’d get so mad she’d push me and pound my chest. “One time at school, I walked up to my boyfriend and his friend. He wanted me to go away, so he turned and hit me in the arm. That was the first time I was hit.”“She’d get so mad she’d push me and pound my chest.I didn’t hit back, but it made me really mad.”“After I was hit, each time, he apologized and said it would never happen again.”Additional InformationIt’s not uncommon for partner abuse involving celebrities to be in the news.— In 2009, an argument between singer Rihanna, 20, and her boyfriend, singer Chris Brown, 19, turned violent. Brown reportedly struck Rihanna, and photos of her bruised face showed up in the press. Rihanna eventually left Brown, who attributed his abusive behavior to domestic violence he witnessed as a young person.— Jaslene Gonzalez, now a supermodel, says she was in an abusive relationship when she was a teenager. She is now a spokesperson for Love Is Not Abuse.
6Some teenagers may not even understand why they abuse their partners. FACT:Additional InformationSome partners say they are abusive because it is a behavior they learned as children.Some say they are abusive because they can’t express themselves verbally when they get angry.
7“I could tell her where she could go and who she could talk to “I could tell her where she could go and who she could talk to. It made me feel good. I just liked the power, the control.”“I swore I’d never hit people the way I’d seen people in my family do, but I couldn’t stop myself.”“She’s my girl. She goes where I go.”Additional InformationTeens can take these steps when they believe a friend is abusing his or her partner:— be specific about what they saw and how witnessing that abuse made them feel— explain that his or her behavior can end up having serious consequences, even jail time— give the friend information about organizations that can help (listed at the end of this slide show)— urge him or her to get counseling from a trusted adult— be encouraging when your friend takes steps to change
8FACT:80% of girls who have been physically abused in a relationship continue to date the abuser.Maybe they put up with it because they don’t see another option.Additional InformationAccording to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, in 95% of abusive relationships, males abuse females. See
9“I felt lucky to have him as boyfriend “I felt lucky to have him as boyfriend. And I kept thinking I could make him change.”“When she wasn’t watching over me all the time, it just seemed like she didn’t care.”“I started to believe all those negative things he said about me. I was brainwashed and thought it was all my fault.”Additional InformationAccording to the reasons that it may be difficult for a victim to leave an abusive relationship include:— love for the partner, even if that person is abusive— low self-esteem, which may have predated the relationship— denial that the relationship is abusive— feelings of guilt, of believing that the abuse is somehow the victim’s fault
10RELATIONSHIPS Love is not abuse. Additional Information What follows are websites and organizations with resources related to partner and domestic abuse.— Choose Respect— Love Is Not Abuse— National Domestic Violence Hotline: Teen Dating Abuse— National Domestic Violence Hotline: Domestic Abuse Those experiencing violence at home should call from a safe place: a friend’s house, school, a library, or a pay phone. The confidential, toll-free number is— loveisrespect.org: National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline (sponsored by Liz Claiborne)10
11Is surrendering who you are ever the better option?