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    Am I in an Unhealthy or Abusive Relationship?

    Warning Signs of an Unhealthy or Abusive Relationship continued...

     

    While all of these situations are serious and require drastic action, a relationship does not have to involve physical violence to be unhealthy. Here are some additional warning signs your relationship is in trouble:

    • Controlling behaviors, such as not letting you hang out with your friends, telling you what to wear, having to be with you all the time, or calling or texting you frequently to "check up" on you.
    • Verbal and emotional abuse that involves calling you names, jealousy, cutting you down, and threatening to hurt you or a family member if you don't do what they want.
    • Sexual abuse that includes unwanted touching and kissing, forcing you to have sex, or forcing you to do other sexual things.

     

    What If I Am in an Unhealthy or Abusive Relationship?

    Some teens involved in unhealthy or abusive relationships think it's their fault. They may feel helpless to stop the abuse, or feel threatened or humiliated. You must understand that nothing you say or do gives anyone the right to abuse, intimidate, or hurt you.

    Trust your gut feelings. If something feels uncomfortable or wrong with the relationship, then it is not healthy. You must end the relationship, even though it's difficult to leave someone you care about. And because it may be difficult to leave, you will need help. Here are some tips for ending an unhealthy or abusive relationship:

    • Get help immediately. Don't keep your concerns to yourself.
    • Break the silence. Talk to someone you trust, such as a parent, teacher, or a school counselor or nurse. Tell them what the other person has done to you and how they treat you.
    • The law mandates that certain adults (teachers, counselors, doctors, social workers, and coaches or social activity leaders) report neglect or abuse to the police or to government protective services. If you'd like to talk to an adult anonymously, call a crisis help line in your area or call the National Center for Victims of Crime help line at 1-800-FYI-CALL.

     

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