“The numbers would be shocking”, help for teens in abusive relationships is only a call away

Ohio County

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Any teens struggling in what may be considered an abusive relationship should know that help is just one call away.

At some Ohio Valley schools, help is available right on school grounds.

John Marshall and Wheeling Park High School have their own school-based advocates, meaning they’re trained in domestic violence.

But, teens can get help else where too.

We have spoken to thousands of students…thousands.

Patricia Flanigan, YWCA Wheeling Family Violence Prevention Director

The Teen Dating Violence and Awareness Program helped thousands of teens over the past 11 years.

I don’t think, in general, people realize what’s happening within our dating relationships of our youth.

Patricia Flanigan, YWCA Wheeling Family Violence Prevention Director

Even in a year, they see a lot of teens.

Flanigan said an average of 100 area teens in abusive relationships come to them.

The unfortunate reality is we don’t teach healthy relationships to our children as we grow.

Patricia Flanigan, YWCA Wheeling Family Violence Prevention Director

It’s the kids, between 16 and 21, who Flanigan said deal with the most forms of dating and domestic violence. But, even younger kids to through it.

The numbers would be shocking, I believe, to most parents.

Patricia Flanigan, YWCA Wheeling Family Violence Prevention Director

Even if you aren’t sure if your relationship is unhealthy, they won’t turn you away. They are just there to guide you.

But, Flanigan said there are warning signs if you aren’t sure. That could be if your partner is trying to keep you away from friends and family, if they want your passwords or continuously are jealous, or if your friends don’t like your partner.

Those are all very, very good warning signs that this is not a good, healthy relationship.

Patricia Flanigan, YWCA Wheeling Family Violence Prevention Director

Signs like risky behaviors, isolation, or someone threatening to hurt themselves or others are other warnings.

A relationship like this, Flanigan said, isn’t just something people can walk away from. It even could carry into adulthood.

After it gets to a certain point, lethality is a huge concern. People lose their lives getting out of abusive relationships, and that includes teens.

Patricia Flanigan, YWCA Wheeling Family Violence Prevention Director

If you need help, there is an advocate in every school in Ohio and Marshall County you can talk to. They also have a similar programming in Wetzel County. It’s just not school based.

Or, you can call 1-(800)-698-1247 at any time. All calls are confidential.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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