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About Abuse

Information for Teens

Updated: 
December 29, 2015

How can I tell if my friend is in an abusive relationship?

It can be hard to know for sure if someone is being abused, but we list some behaviors below that may indicate abuse. If you can answer "yes" to one or more of these questions, your friend might be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship.

  • Does your friend show frequent physical signs of injury? Does s/he give an explanation for the injuries that doesn't seem to make sense?
  • Is s/he doing worse in school, or has dropped out completely?
  • Has s/he changed his/her clothing or makeup style?
  • Has s/he lost confidence or have difficulty making decisions?
  • Has s/he quit his/her normal after-school activities?
  • Has s/he started using drugs or alcohol?
  • Does s/he suddenly have mood swings or emotional outbursts?
  • Has s/he isolated himself/herself from friends and family?
  • Does s/he apologize for his/her girlfriend's/boyfriend's abusive behavior? Or take the blame for it?
  • Does s/he seem overly worried about upsetting or angering his/her boyfriend/girlfriend?

How can I find help on talking to my friend who may be in an abusive relationship?

If you suspect a friend is in an abusive relationship, you might want to try talking to him/her when no one else is around in a place where you think s/he will feel safe. The loveisrespect.org website has a list of things to keep in mind when you're talking to a friend who may be experiencing dating violence. You might want to check out their website or contact them for help before talking to your friend.