Young Adults and Dating Violence

Abusive relationships have good times and bad times. Part of what makes dating violence so confusing and painful is that there is love mixed with the abuse. This can make it hard to tell if you are really being abused.

Dating Violence

Here are some good questions to ask yourself.

Does your boyfriend or girlfriend:

  • Act like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, with such sudden and extreme moods he seems like two different people?
  • Make fun of you, put you down, or embarrass you in front of other people?
  • Have a history of bad relationships or past violence, always blame his/her problems on other people, or blame you for "making" him/her treat you badly?
  • Try to get you drunk, high or messed up or try to get you alone when you don't want to be?
  • Try to control you - by being bossy, not taking your opinion seriously, making all of the decisions about who you see, what your wear, what you do, etc?
  • Talk negatively about people in sexual ways or talk about sex like it's a game or a contest?

Do You:

  • Feel less confident about yourself when you're with him/her?
  • Have been told by people you trust that they're worried about your safety?
  • Feel scared or worried about doing or saying the wrong thing?
  • Find yourself changing your behavior out of fear or to avoid a fight?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, you may be in a relationship that is abusive or may become abusive.

What should I do? There are several ways that you can reach out for help. Read the options below to find the option you're most comforable with:

  • Reach out to adult you trust. You might choose a parent, a grandparent or another adult in your family or an adult at your school or place of worship. School counselors, teachers, coaches and even school administrators are there to help you stay safe and figure out your options.
  • To talk to someone local about your relationship, you can call Alternatives to Violence's crisis hotline at 530-528-0226. Someone is available at this number 24/7.
  • Reach out through text, chat or phone call to www.loveisrespect.org, a national organization dedicated to helping teens address dating violence and recognize and develop healthy relationships.

Underage Sexting

Sexting is sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs or images, primarily between mobile phones. While sexting may seem fun and exciting, it can cause some real problems, especially if you (or the subject of the photo you're sharing) is under the age of 18. For an excellent resource on sexting, click here.