A recent report estimates that nearly a third of teens have experienced dating violence. In light of this grim fact we decided to post the signs of psychological abusers and victims from our October/November issue here.

Your boyfriend is a psychological abuser if he:
• Is always threatening to break up.
• Tries to intimidate you with looks, gestures or actions.
• Tries to control you by minimizing, denying and blaming.
• Makes light of the abuse and doesn’t take your concerns about it seriously.
• Criticizes you, calls you names and/or shouts at you.
• Degrades you in private, but acts charming in public.
• Humiliates you in private or public.
• Withholds approval, appreciation or affection as punishment.

According to the Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness, girls who have been psychologically abused can feel:
• Loss of enthusiasm.
• Uncertainty about how you’re coming across.
• Concern that something is wrong with you.
• The need to rehash incidents to try to figure out what went wrong.
• Decreased self-confidence.
• Growing self-doubt.
• Concern that you aren’t happy and ought to be.
• Anxiety or fear of being crazy.
• The feeling that time is passing and you’re missing something.
• A desire not to be the way you are. “I’m just too sensitive,” etc.
• A tendency to live in the future. “Everything will be great when/after …”
• As if you want to escape or run away.
• Distrust of future relationships.

If even one of these applies to you, you may be in an abusive relationship. Get help!
Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.

For more on this important issue check out guest writer Nicole DeSario’s website,, and, on whose board Nicole serves.