R E L A T I O N S
H I P S:
Abuse is mistreatment. Abuse can be emotional (where someone consistently disregards, invalidates and/or purposely hurts another's feelings to control them). Abuse can also be physical (where someone uses violence or the threat of violence to get their way). In both cases one person is treating the other with a lack of respect.
Why do some people treat others this way? Unfortunately, many teens have been abused by a parent or another care giver. They have grown up accepting abuse as part of a love relationship. For teens like this, abuse is nothing unusual.
How do you know whether you are in an abusive relationship? Check out the following questions and answer them for yourself. They describe some of the warning signs that can help you decide if your relationship is turning toward violence.
If you answered "YES" to any of questions 1-6 you may already be in an abusive relationship, or on your way to being abused!
If you answered "YES" to number 7, you may be an abuser yourself!
How do I change this situation if I love him/her? This situations isn't good for you, and it's not good for your partner either. An abuser needs to get help and support to stop abusive behavior and to understand something called "the cycle of violence."
The most important thing to remember is that you may love him/her but you don't love the part of him/her that hurts you.
You have to tell your boyfriend/girlfriend:
If you cannot say this because it is too scary for you then ask yourself:
The hardest part is admitting you are in a situation that isn't good for you!
Once you can face this and realize you have nothing to be ashamed of, talk to a friend or an adult you trust. Then get the help and support you need. Now is a good time to learn about yourself so that you don't repeat the pattern and find yourself in another unsafe situation with someone else in the future.
There are many places to go and to get support. (For victims of abuse and also abusers who can get help to break their pattern of violence.)
This number is free to call and will NOT appear on you phone bill if you live in the U.S.. If you have any questions about abuse in any relationship you are in, do yourself a huge favor and get the help you need.
It is never O.K. for anyone to hurt you,
or for you to hurt anyone else.
This pattern must be broken.
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last updated November 19, 2005
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