Helping Teens with Relationship Abuse
Teens can experience violence in their relationships, as well as adults. Today I would like to highlight a different organization in three countries that focuses on helping teens.
In the United States, in New York City, the Center Against Domestic Violence (CADV) offers a Relationship Abuse Prevention Program (RAPP). This program teaches students about relationship abuse, sexual harassment, and how to build healthy relationships. Peer leadership gives the program great strength. Their website offers:
- A Healthy Relationship Quiz
- A Safety Plan for Teens
- Ways to help a friend who they suspect is being abused.
In Australia, Bursting the Bubble focuses on abuse teens might be experiencing in their homes. It discusses domestic violence between their parents, how this might affect them, and also emotional, physical and sexual abuse the teens might be experiencing at the hands of family members. Their website offers:
- Emotional and Sexual Abuse Quizzes about their family
- Discussions about why this happens (it is never the teen’s fault)
- True stories from other young people
- Action plans for getting safe.
In the United Kingdom, DealwithDV offers a Blackberry Messaging service to support teens in abusive relationships. They also offer workshops for teens, and help for those who are ready to make the transition from victim to survivor. Their website gives:
- Warning signs of domestic violence
- Equality and respect, and power and control wheels
- Lists of ways a person can be abused via social media.
Hotline numbers for each of the three countries are mentioned below:
United States National Teen Dating Violence Hotline 1-866-331-9474
United Kingdom ChildLine 0800 11 11
What does the bible say about teen abuse? Matthew 18:6 says:
If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
Yes, the Lord places a high value on each life He has created. Psalm 139:13-16 says:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
God has confidence in our youth’s abilities, as it says in 1 Timothy 4:12:
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
In fact, the Lord promises, in Jeremiah 29:11-14a:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.
Lord, I pray that you will be with any teen that is experiencing abuse, whether in their own relationship, or in their home. Please give them courage to seek help from a friend, teacher, or organization who is committed to helping teens with relationship violence. I pray you will allow these organizations to continue the great work they are doing, and encourage them Lord. Amen.