JBWS - Jersey Battered Women's Service
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Teen Dating Abuse

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Though estimates of dating violence vary, one study funded by the National Institute of Justice found the following results from a sample of middle and high schools in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania:

  • 33% of students responding reported experiencing psychological dating abuse

  • 18% reported experiencing cyber dating abuse

  • 21% reported experiencing physical dating violence

  • 9% reported experiencing sexual coercion

These numbers are unacceptable.

The No2DatingAbuse program of JBWS helps teens and young adults to identify types of abuse, provides emotional support and safety planning, and helps them to identify warning signs of abusive relationships. JBWS offers counseling for teen victims and for teens who use force in relationships.

Counselors who specialize in working with young people can provide help over the phone and in private sessions at a school or a confidential location. The services are free and confidential. Counselors can be reached by calling the 24-hour helpline at 1-877-R-U-ABUSED.

Specialized help for parents

When an adolescent or young adult is involved in an abusive relationship, parents can play an important role in supporting them and keeping them safe. However, finding a balance between protecting young people and respecting their growing independence is a difficult task. Our counselors are available to help you.

What do I do if I think my child is a victim?

  • Express your concerns and observations, not criticisms

  • Avoid making ultimatums

  • Listen to your teenager

  • Show respect—don’t minimize the relationship

  • Take the relationship seriously

  • Don’t blame or accuse your teen of causing the abuse or deserving it because they did not leave the relationship.

  • Help develop a safety plan—involve law officials and the school if necessary

  • Acknowledge your teen's sadness and relief at the end of the relationship

  • Respect your teen’s need for privacy

  • Become informed

  • Learn about community resources—reach out to JBWS

  • Be a role model for health relationships—show respect in your own

  • Encourage your teen to have interests beyond their social life

  • Acknowledge your own feelings about the abuse

  • Take care of yourself—you can’t help your child if you’re too distressed to cope effectively

What do I do if I think my child is abusive?

  • Recognize the behavior as abuse

  • Communicate to your teen that abuse is unacceptable and illegal

  • Learn more about abuse

  • Be caring and supportive

  • Support the victim, when appropriate

  • Seek support from friends and family

  • Learn more about community resources to combat abuse

Counseling for Parents
You don't have to do it alone. Dating abuse prevention counselors help parents to 1) understand the dynamics of abusive relationships; 2) recognize the danger signs of abuse; 3) improve communication with their child; 4) act as a resource for their child; and 5) utilize school and community resources. The support and influence of parents helps children and adolescents to engage in balanced, rewarding, and loving relationships. To speak with a counselor, please call the helpline.


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JBWS is a non-profit tax exempt 501 c 3 organization.


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Charity Navigator, America's premier independent charity evaluator, has awarded JBWS a four star rating.

For details, visit CharityNavigator.org.

JBWS achieved the Platinum Seal of Transparency on GUIDESTAR. Of the more than 47,000 New Jersey Nonprofit Organizations listed on GuideStar, only 71 have received this highest rating!

For details, visit GuideStar.org.

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