Everyone deserves to have a healthy and safe relationship, including YOU. And just because someone isn’t physically hurting you doesn’t mean they aren’t causing you harm.

You are not alone

  • 46% of heterosexual and 59% of LGBT youth experience emotional abuse from a dating partner.
  • 29% of heterosexual and 43% of LGBT youth experience physical dating violence.
  • The numbers are even higher for trans youth, with 89% experiencing physical dating violence and 61% having been sexually coerced.

Anyone can experience dating violence, but the burden is not shared equally across all groups. LGBTQ and BIPOC youth are disproportionately affected by many forms of violence, including dating violence.

Signs of abuse

If you’re unsure whether or not a situation or relationship is abusive, ask yourself does your significant other:

  • Mock you, belittle you, or make you feel small?
  • Think their feelings are more important than yours?
  • Become jealous when you want to see family or friends or are in certain social situations?
  • Control what you wear or how you look?
  • Text or call you repeatedly and get upset when you don’t answer?
  • Try to get you drunk or high?
  • Throw things at you or hit, kick, shove, strangle, or grab you?
  • Make excuses for their behavior, especially when they mistreated you?
  • Force you to have sex or perform any sexual acts when you don’t want to?
  • Pressure you to have sex to prove your love?
  • Make you feel afraid to end the relationship because they have threatened to hurt you, themself, or a loved one?
  • Control or restrict your use of birth control or condoms?

Get help

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, we encourage you to seek support and help with your relationship. LifeWire has a Youth Advocate who works directly with teens and young adults who have experienced dating violence. Call our 24-Hour Helpline at 425-746-1940 or check out our Youth Advocacy Flyer for more information.

Additional resources

loveisrespect.org: Engages, educates, and empowers young people to prevent and end abusive relationships. Get in touch with a peer advocate by texting “loveis” to 1- 866-331-9474.

That’s Not Cool: Dedicated to decreasing teen dating violence due to technology and is increasing awareness for healthy teen relationships online.

One Love: Learn about healthy/unhealthy relationships.

Break the Cycle: Supports young people 12 – 24 to build healthy relationships and create a culture without abuse.

Amaze: Learn accurate and inclusive information about sex, your body, and relationships.