If you are a victim of dating violence, here are four key things you should know, courtesy of the Melrose Alliance Against Violence (www.maav.org):
1.) You are NOT alone.
2.) The Abuse is NOT your fault.
3.) If it feels scary, it’s abuse.
4.) Get some help and support yourself.
Because our society glorifies violence and then often rejects its victims, it can be hard for those people, especially victims of sexual violence to come forward and seek help. Often they feel like they’re the only one suffering, when the truth is they are not alone. Many people are in a dangerous relationship, or have been in one, and don’t feel safe telling anyone.
No matter what the abuser says, it is never the fault of the victim. The abuser is always responsible for his or her actions, no matter what.
If he or she says something or does something to you, or even “for” you, that scares you, it’s abuse. Especially if it involves sexual acts.
Most people who find themselves in a bad situation don’t realize how bad it really is, whether they are the abuser or the victim. Thus, they won’t seek help. If any of the above lines ring true for you, it’s time to get help for yourself and your partner. There are many places you can go, such as your school councelor or you may call the Teen Dating Abuse Hotline at 1-866-331-9474. Their website is www.loveisrespect.org. And, of course, you can always check out the fine folks at Melrose Aliance Against Violence at www.maav.org.