How Can I Help My Friend?

 

Seeing someone you care about in an abusive relationship is hard. You may want to help but don’t know what to say or do.
 
You may be afraid to get involved in someone else’s business. Here are some ways you can help:
 
Say Something
People who are being hurt in a relationship often feel alone, like they can’t talk to anyone. They may think that the abuse is their fault or that they deserve it. Let your friend know that you are there, that you’re willing to listen and that you’re not going to judge.
 
Support, Believe
Support your friend by making it clear that the abuse is not deserved and is not his or her fault. Recognize that there are MANY reasons why your friend may not be ready to leave the relationship. Let her or him know that you will be there regardless.
 
Take Action
Your friend may tell you about the abuse only if you promise to keep it a secret. Violence and abuse are not the types of problems that should be covered up and kept secret. Help your friend find a supportive adult to talk to. Go with your friend to talk to this person. Provide your friend with phone numbers of support centers and crisis hotlines:
 
Call the Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center at 301-952-0063 or 410-234-9885. If you are outside of Maryland, call the National Teen Dating Violence Helpline at 1-866-331-9474.

 

 

Teen Dating Abuse

NEED IMMEDIATE HELP?

If you, a friend, or loved one are possibly in a abusive relationship, call the Love Is Respect teen dating violence hotline at 1 (866) 331-9474 or text "loveis" to 22522 for assistance.

Everyone deserves to be in a healthy and safe relationship. Communication is key to exercising mutual respect, establishing healthy boundaries and understanding each other’s needs.

Unfortunately, as teens form their first romantic relationships, they often are unclear about what constitutes a healthy relationship.

Often, verbal and emotional abuse erodes girls’ self-esteem, making it more difficult to summon the courage to tell someone about the abuse, let alone end the relationship.