- Step 1: Recognize abuse Recognize that there are many forms of abuse that don't include physical violence. If your boyfriend demeans you, makes you account for your whereabouts, tells you how to dress and act, or tries to dictate who you can and cannot see, those are all forms of abuse.
- TIP: Verbal abuse often escalates to physical abuse.
- Step 2: Don't blame yourself Don't blame yourself. Despite what he may say, you are not bringing this on yourself. No one deserves to be treated disrespectfully.
- Step 3: Suggest he get help Suggest he get counseling to deal with the issues that might be driving his behavior, like low self-esteem. You might also benefit from counseling to help you understand the impact of his abuse.
- Step 4: Stand up for yourself Tell your boyfriend you will not tolerate insults or controlling behavior -- and mean it. Prepare for the possibility you might walk out.
- Step 5: End things If the abuse continues, end the relationship. Break things off during the day, in a public place, just to be on the safe side. Ask trusted friends to keep an eye out for retaliatory behavior.
- TIP: If he's given you any reason to feel unsafe, try not to be alone for a while after the breakup.
- Step 6: Resist attempts to win you back Resist his attempts to win you back. Abusive relationships often fit a pattern of cruelty, followed by apologies and promises to change, followed by more abuse.
- FACT: One in four teenage girls has experienced verbal abuse by a boyfriend.
You Will Need
- Counseling (optional)