If you suspect that someone you know may be a survivor of Teen Dating Violence, DO:
- Listen to what the student, family or friend is saying without interrupting.
- Find out what the person would like to do about the relationship and support them regardless of their decision.
- You may let them know that abuse usually gets worse over time. Let them know that you will be there for them if they ever need you.
- Expect the person to be confused about their feelings and about what to do. Expect them to change their mind, maybe even a few times.
- Watch your body language and respect the person’s right to privacy and personal space.
- Help the person become informed of available resources, some of which are listed on this page.
- Decide how you should proceed with informing any other persons, especially if you feel the person’s safety may be in danger.
Be careful… DO NOT
- Judge the person for their choice.
- Give advice – Instead talk to them about the choices they have and help them find persons able to help.
- Ask unnecessary questions; the survivor may shut down if they feel like they are being pressed to share information that they aren’t ready to talk about.
- Confront the person’s abusive partner about the abuse – confronting the abuser may put you in danger, and may put the survivor at increased risk.