Violence is a physical force resulting in injury, damage, or even death. Teens see it on TV, hear about it via Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking platforms. Some may witness violence on the street or in their homes, and still others experience violence in a relationship either as a victim, perpetrator, or both.
In a proclamation that was signed last year, President Obama noted that “In a 12 month period, one in ten high school students nationwide reported they were physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend, and still more experienced verbal or emotional abuse such as shaming, bullying, or threats. Depression, substance abuse, and health complications are among the long–term impacts that may follow in the wake of an abusive relationship. Tragically, dating violence can also lead to other forms of violence, including sexual assault. These outcomes are unacceptable, and we must do more to prevent dating violence and ensure the health and safety of our nation’s youth.”
Even if you haven’t experienced physical, sexual, or verbal/emotional abuse, one of your friends may be in an unhealthy relationship with a friend or dating partner. If either you or your friend is in an unhealthy relationship, it’s important that you get help right away before someone gets hurt!
There are hotlines that you can call 24 hours a day to get help and advice on how to leave an unhealthy relationship. There may be some local resources in your community (including battered women’s shelters) or through your health care providers office, place of worship, or school or hotlines that you can call.
Here are some resources (the hotlines are toll–free):
- National Dating Abuse Helpline: 1–866–331–9474
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1–800–799–SAFE (7233)
- The National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1–800–656–HOPE (4673)