Counseling and Education for Teens
Dating can be fun. If you fall in love, it can be the best. The downside: For some of us, what starts as fun or turns to love doesn’t stay. Things can change quickly. Abuse or rape happens.
Abuse can come on slowly or suddenly. It can look different for different people. It might start with trying to control you. It might be insulting. It might be physical. It might mean pressure to have sex. It might mean texts a hundred times a day to keep tabs on you. Maybe it means losing your friends. Maybe it means feeling scared and stuck.
There is help available, and there are things you can do to protect yourself. Here are just a few:
- Know that you are not responsible for the abuse or the violence. Be aware, it will probably happen again and get worse over time.
- Find someone you trust who you can talk to. This may be a friend, teacher, counselor, your parents or a hotline person. (314.531.2003)
- Think of things to do to be safe if your partner begins to act violent or abusive. Maybe calling a friend to give you a ride home. Getting to a public location. Opening a door or getting to a room where there are other people.
It can feel uncomfortable standing up for yourself, but being uncomfortable is better than being abused or ultimately losing your life. Safe Connections offers free one-on-one counseling and support groups at St. Louis County schools and here at our center in St. Louis City for anyone hurt or struggling with dating violence, sexual assault/rape or witnessing violence in your home. Visit any of the pages below for details.