Is It Healthy?
Is It Healthy?
Sometimes you fall for someone, but later on something doesn’t feel right. Maybe you’ve noticed some of the signs of an unhealthy relationship like your partner trying to control what you do or not respecting your opinions or decisions. Maybe things just feel wrong in a way you can’t put your finger on. Trust yourself. If things don’t feel right, talk to someone you trust. You deserve to be in a relationship that makes you feel happy, supported, and safe.
Peer Advocates are available for support 24/7. You can: Call 1-866-331-9474, Text "loveis" to 77054, Chat online at loveisrespect.org.
What Is an Unhealthy or Abusive Relationship?
Most teens know someone who has been in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. It’s often hard to know what to say to someone you’re worried about. It can be even harder to know who you should tell if it’s happening to you. If you feel like your partner controls your decisions and actions or hurts you physically, emotionally, or sexually, you may want to learn more about what is going on or how to get help. If so, start with these websites.
What Is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is when someone is forced or pressured to do things sexually that they do not want to do. Unfortunately, sexual assault is something many teens have dealt with, whether it’s by a partner, someone they know, or a stranger. If you have been sexually assaulted and want to talk to someone, RAINN has a hotline and online chat where you can talk to someone who understands.
How Do I Make Changes in My Relationship?
If your partner tries to control you, your relationship doesn’t feel healthy, and you want to try to make a change, here are some things to start thinking about. Wherever you are in your life and in your relationship is okay.
- Make Sure You Use Birth Control: If you question the health of your relationship, getting pregnant could make things worse. If your partner doesn’t want you to use birth control, you still have options. Learn about birth control that only you will know you are using.
- Keep Your Money Separate: Knowing you can support yourself makes a big difference. Learn more about financial abuse, and how you can get help.
- Remember That It’s Not Your Fault: Finding yourself in an unhealthy or abusive relationship happens to a lot of people at some point in their lives. It is important to realize that no matter how much you care, you can’t fix your partner or change their behavior. Abuse is a learned behavior. It is not caused by anger, mental problems, taking drugs or drinking, and you do not cause it.
Who Can I Ask for Help?
A lot of people have been in abusive relationships or have been sexually assaulted. Everyone’s experience is different, and there are confidential places in your own community where you can get support, information, and more.
- For help with relationship abuse: You can call the Washington State Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-562-6025 (V/TTY) to ask questions or to be connected to your local support program. You can search online for Washington programs by county here.
- For help with sexual assault: You can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at
1-800-656-HOPE (4673) to ask questions or be connected with your local support program. Search online for Washington programs by county here.
What Happens When I Call a Hotline?
When you call a hotline, a person will answer the phone. The people who answer sexual assault and domestic violence hotlines are knowledgeable about many different issues and experiences. The person who answers the phone will:
- believe you
- listen to you without judgment
- help you work through the questions you have
- let you know what other services are available to you
- keep your conversation confidential
Your conversations are always confidential. No one from a hotline will give out any of your information without your written permission. If you choose to get help from a domestic violence or sexual assault program, their services are free. If you know someone who needs to find help but doesn't speak English, many local programs have bilingual staff, and most hotlines have access to interpreter services via the phone. If you live in King County, call the Peace in the Home Helpline, which offers help in 14 languages at 1-888-847-7205, or go to their website.