February is known as the month of love because Valentine’s Day (and Galentine’s Day!). However, it’s also Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. One in five young adults will have an experience with an abusive partner, and the chances are higher for young women. It can be hard to spot the signs, as many times the line between a healthy relationship and a controlling one can be hard to see. But if you see any of these five signs, remove yourself from the situation and get help.
1. They get jealous whenever you hang out with other people and want to isolate you.
They want you to spend all your time with them and may also accuse you of being unfaithful without any evidence. Isolation like this is used a lot in order to make you depend on your significant other.
2. They get upset when you don’t answer your phone right away.
Using your cell phone to keep track of you is easy to do, especially with smart phones that give us access to everything and everyone. While it’s great to have someone wondering if you’re home safe after a night out, if they are constantly asking where you are or get made if you text them back immediately, this is a sign of abuse.
3. They make fun of you, spread rumors about you or destroy something that belongs to you.
They don’t respect you, and they’re being dishonest with you, but they will somehow turn it around and make it feel as if it’s your fault. Some things your significant other might say are, “You made me do this,” or “You make me so angry.”
4. They read your texts and/or want to know who you’ve been talking to.
This goes hand-in-hand with their jealous and controlling tendencies. They want to make sure they know everything that you do.
5. They threaten to hurt themselves if you leave.
Many times, this is used as a way to make you feel guilty for wanting to leave the relationship.
DoSomething.org is hosting its 1 in 5 campaign this month, and you can help spread awareness of domestic abuse. Share this article and join the movement here. For more information on teen dating abuse and how you can spot it, check out Do Something’s Spot the Signs Guide here.