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Welcome to
JCADA's 
TEEN CORNER

Welcome to the Teen Corner of JCADA's website.
This space is dedicated to empowering teens with the knowledge and resources they need to build healthy relationships and recognize the signs of abuse.

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When we create respectful relationships earlier in life, we create—for ourselves and our community—a brighter, healthier, safer future.

Understanding the different types of abuse, whether emotional, physical, sexual, or digital, is crucial in fostering a safe environment for yourself and your peers.

By exploring the information and tools provided here, you can learn to identify harmful behaviors and seek support if needed.

In addition to learning about abuse, JCADA's Teen Corner emphasizes the importance of boundaries and consent in any relationship. Clear communication and mutual respect are fundamental in ensuring that everyone feels safe and valued.

 

We also provide guidance on break-up safety to help you navigate ending a relationship in a way that prioritizes your well-being.

 

Speaking of well-being, JCADA provides self-care tips to support your mental and emotional health. Remember, taking care of yourself is not only essential for your own happiness but also for maintaining healthy relationships with others.

Types of Teen Dating Violence

Types of Dating Violence

Abusive relationships begin subtly and escalate over time. They rarely start with physical violence. Instead, there's typically a grooming period where the abuser slowly gains control and undermines your confidence.

 

Early warning signs can include excessive jealousy, constant monitoring, isolation from friends and family, and belittling or criticizing you frequently. These behaviors may seem minor at first but can gradually intensify, leading to more severe forms of abuse.

 

Recognizing these early signs and the different ways abuse can show up in a relationship is crucial in preventing the escalation of violence and maintaining your safety and well-being.

Emotional

Most common amongst teens. Seeks to break down a person's confidence, self-worth, and identity so they can control, isolate and/or frighten.

Physical

The intentional, unwanted contact with
your body or personal space that causes or has the intention of causing you fear, injury, disability, or death.

Sexual

Behaviors that force, pressure, or coerces someone to do something sexually that they don’t want to do or make someone feel uncomfortable
around sexual content.

Digital

Abuser uses technology like apps, texting, and social media to bully, stalk, harrass, control, blackmail, manipulate, or intimidate another person.

Financial

When one partner has control over the other partner’s ability to access, gain, use, or maintain financial resources.

Spiritual

Using religion or
spirituality to control, harass, ridicule, or
intimidate someone else. This includes shaming someone for their beliefs.

Identity

Leverage systemic
oppression to harm an individual. This can including outing a person's sexuality before they are ready or insulting their identity—racial, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.

Stalking

Pattern of behavior where someone watches, follows, or harasses you, making you feel uncomfortable, afraid, or unsafe. Stalking can take place in-person or online.

Power and Control

We all have relationships in our lives. This includes friends, family members, romantic or sexual partners, classmates, teachers, and more. Understanding how to develop and maintain healthy relationships can help prevent relationships from turning unhealthy or abusive. 

The teen power and control wheel displays behaviors a person might use in an unhealthy and abusive relationship. Watch this video for more explanation about the Power and Control Relationship Wheel.

To learn more about how power and control play out in teen relationships, watch these short videos. 

  • Teen Dating: Power and Control 

  • Teen LGBTQ+ Dating: Power and Control 

Teen Power Control Wheel

Image Credit: Created and licensed by Walnut Avenue Family and Women's Center ©2023. 

What does it
mean to have 

Healthy Boundaries?

Boundaries are the limits we set for ourselves, both individually and in our relationships, to show what is and what is not okay for us.

Boundaries

What does it
mean to give

Consent?

Consent is how we tell people what is or isn’t okay to do with us or to us. One must always ask for consent before any physical or sexual act. Consent must be given freely, verbally, enthusiastically, specifically, and can be taken back at any time.

Examples of Healthy Boundaries

Not wanting to share intimate details about your relationship with your best friend.

Physical

Being comfortable with kissing but not wanting to do it in public or in front of other people.

Digital

Not giving your partner your login info to Instagram and other social
media accounts.

Financial

Not letting a friend
borrow money until they pay you back for what they already owe you.

Emotional

To break-up or to not break up? That is the question...

Break-up Safety

We get it. Break-ups are not easy. More often than not, they are messy. However, you understand your circumstances better than anyone, including your emotions towards your partner. You deserve to be safe, respected and loved.

 

If you're in a relationship that feels unhealthy or abusive, deciding on the next steps can be challenging. Every emotion you're experiencing is valid, even if you still care deeply for your partner despite their harmful behavior. Your priority should be your well-being and future, rather than the past you share.

 

Here are five steps to ensure your emotional and physical safety should you choose to end a relationship. 

Break-up Safety Plan

Build a support network of trusted adults and friends who can provide emotional and maybe even physical support. Inform them about your situation and your plan to end the relationship.

1. Inform Your Network

Choose a public place where help is available if needed (e.g., coffee shop, mall, etc.). Ensure you can leave easily and inform a trusted friend of the time and place. 

2. Choose a Location

Decide in advance whether you want to maintain any contact and, if so, what form it should take (e.g., only through text or not at all). Communicate these boundaries clearly and stick to them. This will help you create the space you need to heal and move forward.

3. Set & Share Boundaries

Prioritize your well-being by engaging in self-care activities that promote your mental, emotional, and physical health. Make time for things that bring you joy and relaxation, such as exercise, spending time with supportive friends, or seeking professional counseling if needed.

4. Prioritize Your Healing

Understand that it’s completely natural to miss your partner, even if the relationship was unhealthy or abusive. Feelings of attachment and nostalgia are part of the healing process and don’t invalidate your decision to prioritize your well-being. Allow yourself to experience these emotions without guilt, recognizing that it’s a normal part of moving forward.

5. Give Space for Emotions

  • Consent is only about sex. TRUE!
    FALSE. Consent is the way that we tell people what is okay, and conversations around consent can include a wide range of behaviors, including but not limited to sexual acts, public displays of affection (PDA), sharing clothes, and who can come over to your house. Remember that consent encompasses way more than just sex.
  • Jealousy is a sign of love. TRUE!
    FALSE! If your partner is jealous of how much time you’re spending with your friends or family members, that reflects their own insecurities about your relationship, and if they act on their jealousy by wanting to spend all of their time with you and preventing you from hanging out with other people, then that’s not love.
  • Friendships can be unhealthy and/or abusive. FALSE!
    TRUE! Romantic relationships are not the only type of relationship that can be considered unhealthy or abusive. Many of the same unhealthy or abusive behaviors can exist in friendships as well, such as controlling what you do or who you talk to, not listening to your thoughts or ideas, making fun of you online, and even physical violence.
  • Getting gifts all of the time from a partner is a sign that they really love you. TRUE!
    FALSE! Most people love to get gifts, especially on happy occasions like a birthday, and it’s often a sign that someone is thinking about you. However, gifts and affection, to the point of making one uncomfortable, or using gifts as a way to make up for unhealthy or abusive behavior, is not okay in a relationship. This is commonly referred to as “Love-bombing.” Love bombing is when the action or practice of lavishing someone with attention or affection, especially in order to influence or manipulate them.
  • Men never experience abuse in a relationship. TRUE!
    FALSE! Teen dating violence can happen to anyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, etc. Research tells us that 13.4% of male high school students report being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner, and 48.8% of men have experienced at least one emotionally abusive behavior by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • AirPods can be used to track your location. FALSE!
    TRUE! If you lose an AirPod, it’s super easy to use the Find My app to track them down. While that is the case, if a partner “mysteriously” loses an Airpod in your backpack, car, bag, or coat pocket, that app can also be used to figure out where you are, not just the device.
  • A healthy relationship is one in which you spend all of your time with your partner. TRUE!
    FALSE! In a healthy relationship, both partners maintain their individuality and have time for their own interests and friendships. It is important to balance togetherness with personal space to ensure both partners feel fulfilled and respected.
  • You should always be willing to do what your partner wants. TRUE!
    FALSE! It’s natural and important to make compromises in a relationship as long as both individuals are making them, and those actions do not make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Your individual needs and wants matter just as much as your partners. It’s important both individuals establish and maintain boundaries around what they are and are not willing to do to feel comfortable around each other.
  • Breaking up with someone in person is not always the best option. FALSE!
    TRUE! Even though it seems like the nice thing to do, if you feel like your safety would be at risk by breaking up with your partner in person, then it’s possible to do it through a phone call, facetime, or text. You don’t owe it to anyone to break up in person if it feels unsafe; your safety is always your top priority.
  • You should call out your partner if they’re being too emotional or sensitive. TRUE!
    FALSE! Everyone’s feelings are valid, and it’s not healthy (or nice!) to criticize your partner for being upset about how they are feeling. We all have emotions, but everyone expresses them differently. Try giving your partner some emotional support and comfort. If your partner is having trouble handling their emotions in a healthy way and you’re not sure what to do, please reach out to a trusted adult or visit our resources page for more information.

SELF CARE

Selfcare

Self-care is a way of taking care of ourselves, in body, mind, emotion, and spirit. Self-care is crucial in our ability to maintain healthy functioning, reduce stress and burnout, and engage in meaningful activities. Self-care allows us to maintain a sense of independence, and it provides us with an outlet to manage our emotions. Hover over each image to learn how the activity can help you take care of you! 

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