TEEN ABUSE
Violent Relationships
FAQ

Teen Abuse - millions of young women are in violent relationships. Learn how to escape teen dating abuse.

73 percent of college students surveyed nationwide said they know schoolmates who have been physically or sexually assaulted. Female college students experience the highest per-capita rates of intimate violence. 33 percent said they have experienced an obsessively jealous partner, stalked or harassed, pushed or shoved, choked, hit or kicked. Students surveyed said teen abuse victims remain in violent relationships because of low self-esteem and emotional dependence.

The profile of a teen batterer is very similar to adult batterers:

• Jealous and controlling, he chooses your friends, checks on you, criticizes you, bosses you, demands sex, and makes all decisions while disregarding your opinion.
• Your family and friends worry about your safety, and he makes you nervous, too. Intimidating and threatening, he is quick-tempered, and has a history of fighting. He grabs or hits you and is too fond of alcohol or drugs.
• He speaks contemptuously of his ex-girlfriends, got too serious too soon about your relationship, and won’t accept breaking up.

How to Escape – the sooner, the better

Countless women have wasted their lives by thinking their tender, loving care can mend such a troubled man. You cannot change him, but you can rescue yourself by getting away from him as soon as possible. Here's how:

• A woman's self-esteem, habits, and economic situation have an enormous impact on her decision to escape from a bad relationship, yet she can’t see clearly because she's up to her eyeballs in a rut of abuse. A counselor will help you step back and look at your life clearly.
• Make sure you have absolutely decided to end the relationship for once and for all. Realize that you’re not obligated to fulfill any prior expectations and shouldn’t feel guilty for opposing his desires. Be very sure of this so you’ll firmly safeguard your right of freedom and also avoid confusing yourself – or confusing him.
• Tell your friends, family, teachers, coaches, and security guards that you're going to break up with him. They will be your support network and help screen calls and visits as well as escort you through your daily schedule.
Break up with him in a public place with your support network nearby.
• Don’t “let him down easy” or he’ll think you’re not sure and might change your mind. Clearly reject him, but avoid giving specific reasons because he’ll challenge each one. Remain calm and polite. The key is carefully balancing between never insulting him yet never being warm to him either. Simply say, "Our relationship is no longer working for me. I no longer want to be with you, and I know I won’t change my mind.” Period. Do not apologize. Do not discuss old arguments. Do not negotiate – and clearly expect a proper response. End the conversation. (You might rehearse a script you've carefully written with the help of a counselor.)
• Trust your intuition. If you feel you're in danger, get help immediately.


As many as 24 percent of young women suffer abuse and rarely turn to their parents for help. Abused teens and abusive teenagers often continue that behavior throughout life. Your life needn’t be a common tragedy. See Battered Woman Syndrome and Domestic Violence.

RESOURCES

• RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) www.rainn.org
• National Coalition Against Domestic Violence www.ncadv.org

Pages related to Teen Abuse

Date Rape (or Acquaintance Rape)
Stalker Warning Signs
Cyber Stalking FAQ.
Personal Security Alarm: (screamer or noisemaker)


Crime-Safety-Security > Women's Safety Overview > Teen Abuse