LISTEN UP: Love Is Respect
Sometimes love may hurt, but it should never be abusive.
While people across the world will celebrate love next month on Valentine’s Day, February also marks the 3-year anniversary of Loveisrespect.org, National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline and National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week. Loveisrespect.org is both a phone line and a website for teens involved in dating violence and abusive relationships.
Loveisrespect.org offers one-on-one help and support from trained teen peers working to end dating violence. Actual teens who have been involved in abusive relationships are more than willing to share their stories and personal experiences with other teens.
If you think dating violence could never happen to you, then you may want to think again. Dating abuse can happen to anyone at any age, of any race, and any gender. Dating abuse doesn’t have to be just physical either; it can also be verbal, emotional or sexual.
According to their website, 1 in 5 teens who have been in a serious relationship report being hit, slapped or pushed by a partner. Also, 1 in 3 girls who have been in a serious relationship say they've been concerned about being physically hurt by their partner.
It is very important to know the warning signs of an abusive relationship. If your boyfriend/girlfriend looks at you and acts in ways that scare you, acts possessive or jealous, constantly puts you down or tries to control you, then you may be in an abusive relationship.
If you are a victim of dating violence, or know someone who could be, please visit Loveisrespect.org or call 1-866-331-9474 for help and support 24 hours a day, every day of the year for more information. All calls and chats are anonymous and confidential.
Remember, you have the right to be loved and treated with respect.
By: L’Oreal Thompson
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