For Teens to Think About

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You may be at risk of dating violence if your partner...

  • Is violent. He has a history of fighting, losing his temper quickly, or brags about mistreating others.
  • Gets too serious about the relationship too fast.
  • Has a history of bad relationships and blames the other persons for all the problems. "Girls just don't understand me."
  • Believes that men should be in control and powerful , and that women should be passive and submissive.
  • Is someone your family and friends warned you about, or told you they were worried for your safety with.

He's trying to control you and make you dependent on him if:

  • He's very jealous and does not want you to talk to other men, wants you to stop seeing your girlfriends and has to know where you are and who you are with all the time.
  • He tries to control your contact with your family.
  • He puts down what you wear, do and say.
  • He tries to control you by being very bossy, giving orders, making all the decisions, and does not take your opinion seriously.
  • He is scary. You worry about how they will react to things you say or do.
  • He abuses drugs or alcohol and pressures you to take them.

He's putting you down so you will lose self-esteem, confidence and control if:

  • He tells people things you did or said that embarrass you and make you feel stupid.
  • He says it's your fault when things go wrong for him.
  • He calls you stupid, lazy, fat, ugly or a "slut".
  • He blames you when he mistreats you. He says you provoked him, pressed his buttons, made him do it, lead him on.

He's threatening you and in some cases using physical violence if:

  • He drives fast and likes to do dangerous things to scare you.
  • He gets carried away when you are playing and hurts you, or holds you down to make you feel helpless or humiliated, and give in to him.
  • He threatens you and/or uses or owns weapons.
  • He threatens to hit you, hurt your friends, pets or family if you do not do what he wants.
  • He says he will leave you or kill himself if you do not obey him.
  • He gets very angry about small, unimportant things. He will not tell you his feelings when you ask and then he blows up.
  • He pressures you for sex, or is forceful or scary around sex. He thinks women or girls are sex objects. He attempts to manipulate or guilt trip you by saying "If you really loved me you would. . ."
  • He hits you - he may be sorry afterward, but he hits you.

If you are an abused teen:

You are not alone and you are not to blame. You cannot control his violence. But you can make yourself safer by:

  • Calling the police if you have been assaulted.
  • Telling someone and keeping a record of all incidents of violence.
  • Talking to a trusted adult such as a parent, teacher, guidance counsellor or school psychologist, and/or calling a community agency for advice.
  • Considering ending the relationship as soon as possible. The violence may get worse.

If you are an abusive teen:

  • Recognize you have a problem. Take responsibility for your behaviour.
  • Talk to a trusted adult such as a teacher, guidance counsellor or school psychologist, and/or call a community agency for advice.
  • Abuse is a crime. You could face fines or imprisonment if convicted.
  • Realize that nobody deserves to be abused. If you come from an abusive home, you may be re-enacting the abusive behaviour you experienced or witnessed. You can get help to stop the violence and have healthy, caring relationships.

How teens can help prevent violence:

  • Become more aware of verbal and physical abuse in your own relationships.
  • Help students "break the silence".
  • Promote other ways to deal with anger and resolve conflict, for instance through talking through feelings and creative problem solving.
  • Beware of jokes, movies, television programs, advertising, and rock videos that are demeaning to women and may promote violence against women.