Teen Relationship Violence



source: loveisrespect.org

There are many types of abuse and they are all difficult to experience. Explore this section to learn the different ways abuse can occur so you can better identify them. Remember, each type of abuse is serious and no one deserves to experience any form of it.

Emotional Abuse/Verbal Abuse
Non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring or “checking in,” excessive texting, humiliation, intimidation or isolation.


Being repeatedly watched, followed or harassed.


Financial Abuse
Using money or access to accounts to exert power and control over a partner.


Physical Abuse
Any intentional use of physical force with the intent to cause fear or injury, like hitting, shoving, biting, strangling, kicking or using a weapon.


Sexual Abuse
Any action that impacts a person’s ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstances in which sexual activity occurs, including restricting access to birth control or condoms.


Digital Abuse
The use of technology such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. Often this behavior is a form of verbal or emotional abuse perpetrated through technology.  Click here for more support and resources on Digital Crisis.
take action

The effects of teen dating violence can be detrimental to a person’s physical and emotional well-being and ultimately lead to antisocial behaviors and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. If you are suffering from dating abuse, here are some tips:

  • Tell someone—Don’t be afraid to talk to a friend, adult, family member, or someone you trust. There are people and organizations who can help you get out of a violent dating situation before it escalates.
  • Document the abuse—Record what’s taking place. Keep a journal of the violence you’re experiencing, including dates and times of each incident. Seek medical care for any injuries. Print out emails, text messages, or any other form of electronic communication that contains evidence of dating violence.
  • Leave the relationship—Relationships can turn violent quickly. If this happens, get out of the immediate situation. Consult friends or trusted adults for help before the abuse intensifies.

Click here to learn more about Healthy Relationships.



Watching a friend go through an abusive relationship can be very scary and you may feel like you’re not sure how to help them. The decision to leave can only be made by the person experiencing the abuse, but there are a lot of things you can do to help your friend stay safe. You can talk to a counselor in NormanAid to learn the safest way to help your friend. If you want to share your concerns anonymously, you can make a report on Normanonymous which is our confidential and anonymous reporting site for BHHS students. A counselor from NormanAid will provide support for the student you are concerned about.

What Do I Need to Know?
If your friend or family member is undergoing the serious and painful effects of dating abuse, they may have a very different point of view than you. They may have heard the abuse was their fault and feel responsible. If they do choose to leave, they may feel sad and lonely when it’s over, even though the relationship was abusive. They may get back together with their ex many times, even though you want them to stay apart. Remember that it may be difficult for your friend to even bring up a conversation about the abuse they’re experiencing.

What Can I Do?
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend who you think needs help. Tell them you’re concerned for their safety and want to help.
  • Be supportive and listen patiently. Acknowledge their feelings and be respectful of their decisions.
  • Help your friend recognize that the abuse is not “normal” and is NOT their fault. Everyone deserves a healthy, nonviolent relationship.
  • Focus on your friend or family member, not the abusive partner. Even if your loved one stays with their partner, it’s important they still feel comfortable talking to you about it.
  • Connect your friend to resources in their community that can give them information and guidance.Help them develop a safety plan.
  • If they break up with the abusive partner, continue to be supportive after the relationship is over.
  • Even when you feel like there’s nothing you can do, don’t forget that by being supportive and caring -- you’re already doing a lot.
  • Don’t contact their abuser or publicly post negative things about them online. It’ll only worsen the situation for your friend.