In any intimate relationship, ask yourself:
- Have they ever hit or slapped me?
- Have they ever grabbed or threatened me, or made me feel afraid?
- Do they demand to know where I go and who I see?
- Do they talk to me in a way that isn’t nice, or that puts me down?
- Do they always have to have their own way?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may be in a relationship that isn’t good for you. The good news is you can stop dating abuse.
If you are being abused, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember, you didn’t do anything wrong, and you’re not the problem. Talk with someone you’re comfortable with. Call a hotline (see below). If you ever feel that you’re in immediate danger, get away and call 911.
If you abuse, you can choose to stop. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3223 (TTY).
Tips for staying safe
- Get to know someone before going out. At first go to public places like a movie, restaurant, or park.
- Let someone know whom you’re with and where you’ll be going, especially with a new partner or a first date.
- Take your cell phone on a date. Have some cash in case you need to get home on your own.
- For teenagers, date someone who’s close to your own age. Dates who are older sometimes are more aggressive about sex, or more likely to be abusive and controlling.
- At any age, be careful when you meet someone online. Don’t give away personal information, such as your real name or where you live. Remember, people on the Internet sometimes are not what they say they are.
- National Sexual Assault Hotline
You can always reach your local rape crisis center directly by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE
- National Sexual Assault Online Hotline
The National Sexual Assault Online Hotline is a free, confidential, secure service that provides live help over the RAINN website.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) Help is also available online (9AM—7PM CST, Monday through Friday).
- RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network)
Among its programs, RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE. This nationwide partnership of more than 1,100 local rape treatment hotlines provides victims of sexual assault with free, confidential services around the clock.
- Girl’s Health
This site from the Office of Women’s Health offers teens skills for building strong and healthy relationships of all types.
MaleSurvivor provides resources and support for men who were sexually victimized as children, adolescents, or adults. It’s not easy for male victims of sexual assault to come forward and seek help. MaleSurvivor’s Chris Anderson tells us how his organization works to safely bring them out of the shadows.