Resource Library

Why it Might be Hard for a Teenager to Leave

Fear that no one will believe you. You are afraid they won’t believe the abuse ever happened.

The abuse isn’t all that bad. You believe your partner isn’t abusive all the time. They can be very loving, sweet and thoughtful at times.

Your partner has made threats to your safety. Your abuser has threatened to hurt you, your family and friends or maybe your pets, if you leave.

Your partner has threatened to spread rumors. S/he does not want you to leave so s/he makes threats to tell others lies about you.

You feel obligated to stay. Your partner bought you things or took you places.

You fear of what others might do. You are worried your parents, teachers or counselors won’t understand. They might think it is just a “crush” and not realize that you are in love with your partner. You may also be afraid that your parents might be angry with you or blame you for the abuse. You might lose privileges like going out with friends, or your cell phone might be taken away.

You don’t have a place to get away. Your abuser already knows where you live and you might go to the same school and can’t get away or avoid him/her.

Your partner is popular. Your friends think your partner is a “great” person, popular, and good looking. They tell you that you are “lucky” to be going out with him/her.

Your partner has threatened suicide. You feel guilty if you leave because your partner has threatened to hurt himself/herself.

No one else will date you. Your partner has told you that you are dumb, ugly, fat or stupid, and you start to believe it. You want to have a boyfriend/girlfriend. Everyone else does and you don’t want to be the only one without a boyfriend/girlfriend.

You want to change your partner. If you love him/her enough, things will be good. You think if you start doing what s/he asks you to do, s/he won’t get so mad at you.

Your partner has promised to change. Your partner says s/he will get counseling and would try to watch his/her temper and be nicer to you.

Love. You don’t want to be without him/her in your life. You care about him/her and want the abuse to stop, but you don’t want to break up.

You’ve been intimate with your partner. You have been physically intimate with him/her and are afraid he/she might tell others or that you might get a bad reputation. You feel a connection to your partner.

Shame. You are embarrassed that the abuse happened and you want to keep it a secret.

You feel guilty and confused. You are unsure of what to do but feel helpless to change it. You feel it’s your fault it got this bad and feel obligated to stay and work things out.


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