Teen Talk

Is This Love? How Can You Tell

It is not love when your partner…

  • Tries to control you
  • Uses threats, coercion, or harassment through social media
  • Is excessively jealous
  • Calls you names or puts you down
  • Threatens to hurt you, your family and friends, or himself/herself if you don’t do what is ordered/demanded
  • Pinches, hits, slaps, kicks, punches, or strangles/chokes you
  • Forcing sexual activity and/or refusing birth control

This is abuse. Abuse is about power and control

For help or more information call:

National Teen Dating Violence Hotline

1-866-331-9474

Turning Point Crisis Line

704-283-SAFE

How You Can Help

It’s never too early to teach self-respect. No one has the right to tell a pre-teen or teenager who to see, what to do, or what to wear. No one has the right to hit or control anyone else.

Myth

"It only happens to kids from broken or violent families."

Fact

Dating violence can happen to anyone, from all cultures, income levels, and educational backgrounds. Dating violence is NOT limited to families with a history of violence. It can occur on a first date or in a long-lasting relationship.

Myth

"It can’t happen to my child!"

Fact

Both boys and girls can be victims of dating violence. It can occur in any type of relationship- straight, gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

What To Look For
  • Sudden changes in clothes or make-up
  • Bruises, scratches, or other injuries
  • Failing grades or dropping out of school activities
  • Avoiding friends Difficulty making decisions
  • Sudden changes in mood or personality; becoming anxious or depressed, acting out, or being secretive
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits, avoiding eye contact, having “crying jags” or becoming hysterical
  • Constantly thinking about dating partner
  • Using alcohol or drugs
  • Pregnancy. Some teenagers believe that having a baby will help make things better; some girls are forced to have sex
What to Do?

If you suspect that a teen is already involved with an abusive partner, you can help in the following ways:

  • Tell the pre-teen or teen you are there to help — not to judge.
  • If they do not want to talk with you, help find another trusted person with whom to talk.
  • Focus on the teen — do not put down the abusive partner.
  • Point out how unhappy the pre-teen or teen seems to be while with this person.
  • If the teen tries to break up with an abusive partner, advise that the break be definitive and final.
  • Support their decision and be ready to help.
  • Ask that dating violence prevention and intervention programs are made available at their school.

Contact Someone

Need help, information or guidance or just want to talk to someone

National Teen Dating Violence Hotline

1-866-331-9474
1-866-331-8453 TTY

Turning Point Crisis Line

704-283-SAFE