Start Conversations (teens)

What if someone you know has experienced things like?:

  • Unwanted touch
  • Rape
  • Stalking
  • Revenge porn
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual harassment
  • Violent treatment by their partner (this can be physical and/or emotional)
  • Being forced or pushed to do things they don’t want to
  • Being blamed for being a victim (victim blaming)
  • Being isolated or controlled by their partner
  • Other types of sexual violence

 Note: These are all forms of sexual violence.

How can you get a conversation going in order to offer help?

  • If possible, try to meet in person instead of communicating over text, thru social media, or on the phone.
  • Be a good listener. Face them. Don’t answers calls and texts, if possible.
  • Keep it low key. Don’t push if they aren’t ready to talk.
  • Be supportive. Acknowledge their feelings and respect their decisions.
  • Ask them how they’d like you to help. For example, ask if they’d like you to find resources to help them.
  • Tell them you’re concerned for their safety and want to help.

After the conversation has started, here’s some ideas on what to say.

Some content adapted from Love is Respect, Break the Cycle, A Call to Men, Healthy Teen Network, National Sexual Violence Resource Center, Not On My Watch, Planned Parenthood, Scarleteen, A Thin Line.