What do I need to Know ?

What do I need to know?

Recognizing abuse in a relationship is difficult, but especially for teens. There are many types of abuse that teens often believe are not abusive or are normal in a relationship. Even though teen relationships may be different from adult relationships in many ways, teens do experience the same types of physical, sexual, verbal and emotional abuse that adults do.

Teens also face unique obstacles if they decide to get help. Unlike many adults, teens may not have money, transportation, or safe places to go. They may have concerns about lack of confidentiality, reports to police and child protective services, and parental notification. But teens do have rights to a safe and healthy relationship. In some states, teens may apply for restraining or protective orders and get domestic violence services without the help of a parent or guardian.

What is a shelter?

All shelters services are free and confidential.
You don’t need a police report.
They are a secure location.
Legal advocates are on-site.
Case Managers help you explore your options and set goals

Increased Danger Signs: “Red Flag Signs”

Abuse happens more often
Abuse gets rougher
There is a gun in the house
Abuser uses drugs or alcohol
Abuser threatens to kill self or others
Abuser hurts or kills pets
Abuser is jealous, suspicious, or possessive
Abuser gets into fights with other people

Taking the First Step

If leaving is not an option make a safety plan
Call Police if you are being abused
If it is safe, keep a journal of the abuse
Attend a support group
Call the Massachusetts state domestic violence hotline to discuss options: 1-877-785-0200
or the national hotline at 800-799-safe (7233)

Safety Plan

Before you are ready to leave, establish a verbal code word or code phrase with family & friends to alert them when you are in trouble.
Ask a neighbor to call police if violence begins
Hide any weapons
Arrange for safety of pets, call animal control to take them if they are in danger of being hurt

Safety Plan: “Escape Bag”

Pack an escape bag with driver’s license
Birth Certificates for you & your children
Social Security Cards for you & you children
Food Stamps, Medical Cards, Etc.

Financial Information

Checkbook, ATM card, etc
Money, credit cards, bank books, etc
Proof of income for self & partner

Legal Information

Your injunction for Protection
Lease, rental agreement, house deed
Car registration & insurance papers
Health & Life insurance papers
Medical records for you & your children

Other Important Items

House, car & safety deposit box keys
Medicines & all prescriptions (extra)
Jewelry, glasses, dentures, contact lenses
Pictures of you, your children & your abusive partner
Change of clothes for you & your children
Security Blanket or stuffed animal for your child

Hotline Numbers:

Massachusetts Domestic Violence hotline at 1-1-877-785-0200
National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE
U.S. National Teen Dating Violence Helpline at 1-866-331-9474