For Teens

Did you know?


1/3 of young people experience some form of abuse from a dating partner

Dating abuse is not just physical. It’s about one person in a relationship trying to control their partner. Anyone can be abusive, regardless of gender. Abuse is as common in same sex relationships as in straight relationships.


What warning signs might I notice if a friend were in an abusive relationship? 


  • Telling their partner what to do, how to act, or what to wear
  • Trying to keep their partner from talking or spending time with friends or family
  • Constantly checking in about where they are or who they’re with
  • Threatening to hurt their partner or to hurt themselves if their partner breaks up
  • Threatening to spread rumors, secrets, or revealing pictures of their partner
  • Pressuring or forcing them to have sex
  • Blaming their partner for all the arguments or problems in the relationship

What can I do to help a friend?

Watertown 2

  • Start the conversation! Ask them how they are or how their relationship is going.
  • Listen and acknowledge how they are feeling.
  • Let them know you are concerned. Focus on what their partner did that makes you concerned. They may still care about their partner, so stay away from criticizing or judging them.
  • Respect their decisions! Let them know that you are there to support them regardless of what they decide to do.
  • Tell them about resources such as REACH, school counselors, and
  • If they break up, continue to be supportive after the relationship is over.
  • Don’t contact the abuser or publicly post negative things about them online. This could make the situation worse for your friend.

Questions to Consider Before and While in a Relationship

If you are experiencing any of these types of behavior, or you’re concerned about a friend, REACH can help. Our Peers Against ViolencE (PAVE) Program works with local high schools to help students be leaders in promoting healthy relationships. Find us on Facebook or Twitter, or email Dani, our Youth Education Specialist, to find out more.