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My friend is dating this guy. She told me that he pushes and hits her sometimes when they are alone.

My friend is dating this guy. She told me that he pushes and hits her sometimes when they are alone. When I tried to talk to her she said that they love each other. How can I help??

Well Montana Girl, I want to congratulate you on trusting your gut. It sounds like your friend is in an unhealthy relationship and you called it. It’snever okay to hit, push, bully, threaten, or stalk anyone. Period. Even if you love each other.

Violent relationships can be dangerous for the people involved- and your girl is most certainly in one. So first order of business, Montana Girl, is makingsure your friend is safe. Call your friend pronto and ask her to meet you alone. When you’re together (without the dude) tell her that you’re worried abouther. Let her know that you think her boyfriend is abusing her.

The first step for many people in a violent relationship is acknowledging that something is wrong in the first place, so don’t be surprised if it takesa while for her to realize her dude is a dud. If she agrees with you that her boyfriend’s behavior is not okay, encourage her to talk with someone youboth trust – like a family member, an older friend, or someone like a teacher, coach, nurse, or school counselor.

If your friend won’t listen to you, you have one of two options. Either you can talk to someone about your friend’s situation. Or if you don’t feel comfortablesharing your friend’s story with others in your community, there are lots of free hotlines available.

Try The Boys Town National Hotline at 1-800-448-3000. You can also call the National Teen Dating Abuse Helplineat 1-866-331-9474, or visit their website at loveisrespect.org. I like this site, because ithas a free live web chat that’s staffed by young people who can offer support.

Good luck Montana Girl. With any luck your friend will ditch the dude, and he will learn that love = RESPECT.

Auntie is rooting for you!

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My friend is dating this guy. She told me that he pushes and hits her sometimes when they are alone.

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