Dating abuse can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to the girl sitting next to you in class, the cheerleader on the football field, the waitress at the restaurant, the class president, the team captain, to you, to your friend, to anyone.
Red Flags for people who may be in an abusive relationship
*being physically hurt
*feeling afraid of your dating partner
*feeling isolated, maybe even alone
*losing your friends
*changing your behavior because of your dating partner’s jealousy
*feeling manipulated or controlled
*being afraid to express your own feelings or anger
*not having your thoughts or wishes for personal space respected
*feeling embarrassed, put down, ashamed or guilty
*gets jealous easily
How can you help a friend?
If you have a friend or know someone who is in an abusive relationship:
1. Believe your friends’ story
2. Make sure they are safe.
3. Let them know that they do not deserve to be abused. No one deserves to be abused.
4. Ask them a lot of questions to get them to think about the problem:
*Why do you think he gets so jealous?
*Do you think he has a right to decide who your friends are and how you should act around them?
*How does his jealousy make you feel?
*How does the abuse make you feel?
*How does he make you feel good about yourself?
*Are you afraid of his anger?
5. Ask them what their options are and what they can do (such as stay, leave to their partner about the abuse, get advice from a professional.)
6. Let them know that abuse almost always gets worse in a relationship if it’s ignored. If the abuse is going to stop, then the person being abused has to be willing to take actions to end it.
7. Encourage them to seek help.
Safe House for Women Outreach Office: 573-335-7745
Safe House for Women 24-Hour Hotline: 573-651-1614 or 1-800-341-1830