EarthWords: Abuse information in many languages English Teens, are you in an abusive or unhealthy relationship?
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Teens, are you in an abusive or unhealthy relationship?


Here are some examples of abusive, unhealthy treatment:

  • slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking, cornering you
  • pressuring you to do things that make you feel uncomfortable
  • putting you down, calling you names, swearing at you, yelling
  • threatening suicide
  • keeping you away from your friends or putting your friends down
  • using jealousy, anger or threats to get his/her own way
  • refusing to accept your limits about sexuality
  • refusing to let you end the relationship

In a mature relationship, behaviours such as the following are rare:

  • ignoring your feelings or wishes
  • not keeping your secrets
  • sulking when you don't do what he/she wants
  • ignoring or pretending not to hear you
  • teasing/ridiculing you about things that are important to you
  • embarrassing you in front of other people
  • insisting you dress a certain way.

In a positive, healthy relationship, people:

  • listen to each other and consider each other's feelings and ideas
  • enjoy spending time with each other
  • respect, trust and support each other, and value and take care of themselves
  • remember little things that are important to each other
  • let the other be first sometimes
  • respect each other's culture, family, friends.

What if you are being abused?

You don't deserve to be treated that way. And you can't change the abuser. Only the abuser can. But you can ask for help. There are people who care and are ready to listen. Talk to someone you trust—a friend, family member, doctor, nurse, school counsellor. Call one of the numbers on this web site. Real love is not abusive.

What if a friend is being abused? Or abusive?

No one should have to deal with this on their own. Recognizing, admitting to, breaking free from abuse can all be very hard. Friends need information and support to make their own decisions. Talk to them about it and let them know you care and are ready to listen. Suggest they get help from someone they trust—a doctor, nurse, school counsellor, the police. Check out the services listed on this web site for them. Show them or tell them about this web site.


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If you are abusing someone,
there's help for you, too.
Call one of the services listed on this web site.

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