Is there abuse or violence happening in your home? If so, there are some important things you need to know.
There are different kinds of abuse. Abuse is when someone uses pain, fear, or humiliation to get their way. Here are some different kinds of abuse:
There is no excuse for abuse. Healthy relationships do not include abuse. Period. It's OK to have strong feelings, but it's not OK to express them by hurting others. No one has a right to abuse another person. And no one deserves to be abused—ever.
You are not to blame.
If there is abuse in your home, whether it's against your parent, brother, sister, or you, you are not to blame. The person who is abusing or being violent is responsible for his or her actions.
You are not alone. Abuse is an ugly secret in many homes. Lots of other children and teens experience abuse at home. More importantly, there are people who can help. They can help
If there is abuse or violence in your home, get help.
If abuse or violence is being directed at one of your family members or at you, get help right away! You may want to protect your family and not break the family secret, but it is very important that you tell.
If you or someone else in your family is in immediate danger,
If you aren't feeling safe at home:
While it's good to have friends who will listen to you and support you, they may not know what to do to get help. It's important to find a supportive adult who can help, not just a friend.
Growing up with abuse doesn't mean that you will continue the cycle.
If you’re worried about repeating the same patterns of abuse and violence in your own teen or adult relationships, there’s good news and bad news.
First, the bad news: Children who grow up in families where there is abuse learn from it and can carry what they've learned into future relationships. Some can learn to use force in order to get their way, and they can become abusers. Others can end up with low self-esteem and feel they don't deserve better, and they can become victims.
Now here's the good news: You have a choice. It is possible to unlearn the behavior you have learned from your family. And the key to making that choice is AWARENESS.
Here's what you can do to break the cycle:
Are you wondering how to find a counselor? Talk to your school counselor, your family doctor, or another adult you trust. Ask him or her to help you find out about programs in your community that can help. Most communities have services for victims of abuse and for abusers.
In a healthy relationship, the partners
In an abusive relationship, one person might
Do you recognize that you’re doing any of these things to another person? Are you having any of them done to you? If so, you may be in an abusive relationship. Whether you are the person abusing someone else or you’re the person being abused, get help. Talk to a school counselor, your family doctor, or another adult you trust. Ask him or her to help you find a counsellor or community program that can help. If the abuse is sexual, contact the rape or sexual assault crisis center in your community.
Dating violence is any abuse—physical, sexual, emotional—of one partner by the other in a dating relationship. (See the definitions of abuse in Abuse at home?) There are many different kinds of harmful acts besides physical violence and rape that can happen in dating relationships. All forms of abuse are harmful and are worth taking seriously.
You may be experiencing dating violence if you are dating someone who
If you recognize any of the warning signs for dating violence in your relationship, get help.
Lots of teens worry about breaking the news to their friends. But separation and divorce are very common these days.
Good friends will be glad you've told them. You're still you, even though your family is changing.
If there are things you need to know, ask. You have a right to ask questions about what is going to happen and why.