If you are experiencing teen dating violence, figuring out the next step can be very difficult. You have feelings for this person and have developed a history with them. However, it’s the future, not the past, that you should consider. Will you be happy with them? Will you be able to achieve your goals? Will you feel safe? Whatever decision you make, The Shelter and loveisrespect.org can help you plan for your safety. Contact The Shelter at 800-931-7233 to speak with an advocate who can help you create a personalized safety plan.
You may not be ready or it may not be possible to leave your abusive relationship, but you can still increase your safety. Try following these tips:
- If you go to a party or event with your partner, plan a way home with someone you trust.
- Avoid being alone with your partner. Make sure that other people are around when you’re together.
- If you’re alone with your partner, make sure that someone knows where you are and when you’ll return.
How-to Prepare for a Break Up
You may feel pressure from your friends and family to just break up and move on, but we know it’s never that simple. Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking about breaking up:
- Being scared about feeling lonley after the break up is normal. Talking to friends or finding new activities may make filling your new free time easier.
- It’s normal to miss them. Try writing down reasons you want to end the relationship and keep them as a reminder for later on.
- If your partner is controlling and jealous, they may make a lot of decisions for you. It can take time to adjust to making your own decisions again. If you start to feel helpless or overwhelmed, tap into your support system.
- You may be scared to end your relationship. If you are, take that fear seriously. Visit loveisrespect.org/safety-planning and contact The Shelter 800-931-7233 to guide you through situations you may encounter.
Ending an unhealthy or abusive relationship is not like ending a healthy one. Your abusive partner may not accept the break up or respect your boundaries. They may try to control you through guilt trips, threats or insults. It may be very difficult to have a peaceful or mutual breakup with an abusive partner. Just know that as long as you are okay with the decision, it’s okay if your partner is not.
- If you don’t feel safe, don’t break up in person.
- If you break up in person, do it in a public place.
- Don’t try to explain your reasons for ending the relationship more than once. There is nothing you can say that will make your ex happy.
- Let your friends and family know you are ending your relationship.
- If your ex comes to your house when you’re alone, don’t go to the door.
- Trust yourself. If you feel afraid, you probably have a good reason.
- Ask for help. Text: loveis to 22522 to talk to a trained advocate. Call 800-931-7233.
After Breaking Up
Just because an unhealthy or abusive relationship is over, doesn’t mean the risk of violence is too. Use these tips to stay safe after ending your relationship:
- Talk with your friends/family so they can support you.
- If you can, tell your parents what’s going on.
- Talk to a school counselor or teacher you trust.
- Avoid isolated areas at school and local hangouts.
- Don’t walk alone or wear earphones.
- Keep friends/family close when attending events you think your ex might attend.
- Save any threatening or harassing messages your ex sends.
- Set your profile on social networking sites to private.
- If you feel you’re in immediate danger, call 911
- Memorize important numbers in case you don’t have cell phone access.