How to offer nonjudgmental support to abused teens 

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
Tue, 02/22/2022 - 6:45pm

    It can be difficult to watch a loved one being abused, especially if they are a teenager.

    It can bring up a lot of challenges and complex emotions that can be difficult to process. These feelings can be compounded when you aren’t sure how to have these discussions.

    One way you can support someone who is experiencing abuse is to create opportunities for them to share about what’s happening without judgment and without repercussions.

    Some effective ways you can do this is by taking a walk or going for a car ride. This allows them to communicate with you without needing to make eye contact, which can lead to more open sharing.

    Express your concerns about their safety, and ask if there is any way you can help make them feel more safe.

    You can emphasize that the abuse they are experiencing is never their fault, and connect them to resources such as New Hope Midcoast to increase the people within their supportive environment.

    Many people associate partner abuse with adults, however teens face high rates of partner and dating abuse. Studies show that 1 in 3 teens have been, are now, or will be abused by a dating partner by the time they reach 18.

    We partner with schools within our area to offer education and support to youth, faculty, and staff. Our advocates consistently hear youth express that they need non-judgmental support from trusted adults, and safe environments where they can share about their experiences.

    Remember, it is important to practice self-care when you are supporting someone who is experiencing abuse. We are here to help 24/7, and offer that support to friends and family members of people experiencing abuse, as well as survivors. You can reach us at 1-800-522-3304.