Supporting a Young Person in an Unhealthy Relationship

If you are a young person or a social service provider who works with young people, you have probably encountered a peer or client in an unhealthy relationship.

If a person confides in you about their relationship concerns, follow these guidelines to aid the conversation:

  1. Make sure they are safe and mirror their language. Try to use the words they are using to describe their relationship. Don’t try to pass your own judgement on the situation.
  2. Tell them that you will not involve the police, parents or others without their permission. It’s a violation of trust. The only exception is if the person is in danger or other people are in danger as a result of the situation.
  3. Listen! Don’t pry for more information, immediately try to solve the problem, or react dramatically.
  4. Offer resources and practical help-whatever you can do to make the day easier.

There are professionals and social services available to survivors of abuse. No matter the outcome, the person has shown they trust you by confiding in you and you have done your best to get them the resources they need.

National Resources:
http://www.loveisrespect.org

Local Resources:
http://www.familyshelterservice.org/

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