Information provided by the Kurukula
Organization-- an Empowerment & Self-Defense program for women (www.kurukula.org).

If you are a victim of abuse it is NEVER your fault.
If you witness abuse, be an active bystander.

Teen dating violence is often hidden because teenagers:
  • are inexperienced with relationships
  • pressured by peers to act violently
  • want independence from parents
  • have “romantic” views of love
Common clues that a teenager may be experiencing dating violence:
  • Physical signs of injury
  • Truancy, dropping out of school
  • Failing grades
  • Indecision
  • Changes in mood or personality
  • Use of drugs/alcohol
  • Pregnancy
  • Emotional outburst
  • Isolation
Warning signs that your date may become abusive:
  • Extreme Jealousy
  • Controlling
  • Quickly attaches to you
  • Unpredictable mood swings
  • Alcohol/drug use
  • Explosive Anger
  • Isolates you from friends & family
  • Uses force during an argument
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Believes in rigid sex roles
  • Blames others for his problems or feelings
  • Cruel to animals or children
  • Verbally Abusive (yelling, cursing, name calling)
  • Abused former partners
  • Threatens violence
People in destructive relationships often:
  • Ignore what they are feeling, hearing or seeing
  • Make excuses “He had a bad day” or “He can’t help it, he was sick”
  • Minimize their own feelings “Its really not that bad” or “He would never really hurt me”
  • Blame themselves “If I had just not argued with him, or done a better job/been a better person, he would not have acted this way”
  • Try to take care of the person who hurts them
Dating violence or abuse can occur in any intimate relationship from pre-teens through adult. However, studies have shown that ages 13-18 are at the highest risk as they are beginning to explore dating and intimacy. They are also the least likely group to disclose warning signs or abuse to a friend, family member, or trusted adult, and even less likely to report dating violence to the police. Jerky Johnny® is a highly effective game to teach girls critical life skills.

How you can help:
  • Be a safe person for her to talk to, without judging her.
  • Let her know that you care, and thinks she is a good person, no matter what happened.
  • She needs people she can trust to give her a reality check that her partner’s behavior is abusive & that threats can often turn into action.
  • Have her keep a journal documenting the abuse. Support her in seeking professional help so she can explore why she doesn’t value herself and insist on being treated with care, love and respect.
  • If you are a parent of an abused victim be a constant source of support, exclude all judgement.

If you are in an abusive relationship there are resources to help you:
24-Hour Anonymous Hotline: 800-799-SAFE
24-Hour Anonymous Text Help Line: text “go” to 741-741
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 866-331-9474
Break the Cycle:
www.breakthecycle.org
That’s Not Cool:
www.thatsnotcool.com
Love is Respect:
www.loveisrespect.org
The Safe Space:
www.thesafespace.org