'Break the Cycle' and Help Teens Understand that 'Love is Respect'

'Break the Cycle' and Help Teens Understand that 'Love is Respect'

Organizations aim to protect our young people from dating violence

Arcynta Ali Childs

by Arcynta Ali Childs, March 19, 2012

'Break the Cycle' and Help Teens Understand that 'Love is Respect'

Respect, there is a national dating violence hotline where teens can all and speak to trained peers familiar with the laws. 

When dealing with a teen in an abusive relationship, the tendency is to urge him/her to exit that relationship immediately, however, Turner urges caution when dealing with an abused teen. “The hardest things for people to understand about abusive relationships is that it needs to be the victim that finds it within themselves to get out,” she says.  “And leaving immediately is not always the right solution.” Teens in the abusive relationships are better able to assess their situations and determine whether or not they can safely get out. So experts recommended developing a safety plan, an individualized document that both empowers the teen and provides a roadmap to safety.

“We’re all susceptible to being manipulated by someone we care about,” Turner says. “So, it’s important for everyone to check into their relationships from time to time.”

When speaking to her clients, Turner likens the spectrum to the difference between have a cold and getting pneumonia. “We all can get a cold or flu, it’s not the end of the world, we check in at that point. You go to the doctor, take a pill, and you’re healthy again,” she says. “But if you wait until you get pneumonia, it gets worse and you can actually die.”

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