If these personal stories sound familiar and you would like to get help for a friend or yourself, counselors are available. They specialize in working with teens and young adults and can provide help over the phone and in private sessions at a school or confidential location. The services are free and confidential. Counselors can be reached by calling the JBWS 24-hour helpline.
Nickie is a 16-year-old high-school junior. She has been dating John, a senior, for three months. John became abusive shortly after they began dating. On two occasions, he physically abused her by throwing a chair at her, and pulling her. Most of the abuse is verbal and emotional. John is quick to yell, scream and threaten Nickie. At Nickie's first meeting with our counselor, she said she would like to keep the relationship with John, but just wants him to stop being abusive and to get help.
Jenna has been with Allison for eight months. She doesn't want anyone to know about their relationship, especially her parents. To everyone, they look like best friends. At the beginning, Allison was so caring and sweet. But eventually she started getting jealous. Allison tells Jenna she can't hang out with other girls unless she is there too. Jenna hardly sees her friends anymore. When Jenna asked Allison to trust her more and let her spend more time with her friends, Allison got really mad. She started screaming at Jenna, and told her that if Jenna talked back to her ever again, she would tell the whole school and Jenna's parents that she was a lesbian. Allison said everyone would hate Jenna if they knew. Jenna doesn't want to break up with Allison; she just wants her to trust her more so she can spend time with her friends. She's really scared Allison is going to reveal the truth about her and she doesn't know what to do.
Lisa is a 17-year-old high-school senior. She had been dating Alex, also a senior, for two years. In the beginning of their relationship, things seemed fine. But after two months, he began to tell her who she could be friends with and what clothes she could wear. He became intimidating and possessive. When she first met with a JBWS counselor, she said, "I want to break up with my boyfriend, but I can't. He won't let me. He calls me constantly, follows me, and has warned other guys in school not to date me."
Marisol is a senior in high school. She has been dating Miguel for 10 months. Miguel puts her down often and makes fun of her. He physically abused her by squeezing her face so hard that her mouth bled from the pressure on her braces. At Marisol's first session with the counselor, she stated, "I would like to keep seeing him."
Crystal is a 17-year-old high-school junior. She had dated Robert, also 17, for almost two years. The abuse began six months after they started dating. He became angry if she talked to other guys or went out with her girlfriends. Robert embarrassed her and put her down in front of other kids at school. He made harassing phone calls to the house, and punched her a few times. The worst incident of abuse occurred just off of school property. He became very jealous, accusing her of seeing another guy, and back-handed her so hard that he knocked her to the ground. She hit her head on a log and got a large bruise on her forehead. Her parents attempted to get a restraining order against him but were unable to do so since their daughter is a minor. They signed a criminal complaint against him for simple assault. The school was notified of the incident in case he tries to hurt her again. She has had no further contact with him since this incident.