As a friend, there are certain responsibilities you are expected to uphold for your groups of girlfriends.
When she needs someone to vent to about her horrible day, you should be there to listen.
When she is getting ready for a date, you let them raid your closet.
Besides those frivolous things, however, there are duties that you have that are more important.
If you see one of your friends being abused by her boyfriend, you should not sit by silently.
While it may not be as easy as letting her borrow your favorite dress, it may be what saves her life.
According to the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline, one in five teens who have been in a serious relationship report being hit, slapped or pushed by their partner.
Some students at St. John’s have dealt with friends in abusive relationships.
“When I met my friend’s new boyfriend, I noticed he was possessive, but I just thought he was really into her” junior Moshfeqa Rahaman said.
“A lot of people that find themselves in this situation are in disbelief that they are being abused and become extremely vulnerable” sophomore Krystal Torres said.Confronting the victim in a non-threatening way is the first step, but it may not be easy to get the truth.
“When I confronted my friend whom I suspected was being abused, she made excuses for him,” Rahaman said.
“She said that he was her first real boyfriend and that it was OK because he loved her.”
There are countless numbers of hotlines, crisis centers and trained professionals who are trained and have vast experience in helping victims of all ages.
If you do happen to know a friend in an abusive relationship at St. John’s, there are steps you can try to get her to take at the University.
For example, a good outlet is the Counseling Center, which is located in Marillac Hall, Room 130.
Students can make appointments within 24 hours or immediately in an emergency.There are some warning signs that will appear.
Dropping out of normal activities, such as extra curriculars, and avoiding social activities, such as going out to the movies or the mall are usually the first signs to appear. Change in appearance and drop in grades are also warning signs.
There are warning signs that can come from the abuser as well.
If he shows overwhelming control in the relationship, such as planning all of the activities for the both of them, it can be a major red flag.
Other warning signs include previous bad relationships, possessiveness and the urge to get too serious too quickly.
According to the National Teen Abuse Helpline, there are certain do’s and don’ts when dealing with situation of abuse.
Make it known to the person that there is no judgment, and that they are not stupid. Listen to what they have to say, and make sure that the conversation remains between the two of you.
Create a safe haven so the victim can open up and be honest on what she is experiencing.
If you are hostile and uninviting, then your friend will have no one to talk to and express her feelings.
Do not pressure your friend to end the relationship, or give an ultimatum, the relationship or the friendship. Only the person involved can decide to get help and end the relationship, regardless of how hard it is to watch.