Ask Ava

Ask Ava, Episode 48: "What If I'm Ashamed or Scared to Reach Out for Help?"

February 25, 2021 Ask Ava Season 1 Episode 48
Ask Ava
Ask Ava, Episode 48: "What If I'm Ashamed or Scared to Reach Out for Help?"
Show Notes Transcript

Episode 48: "What If I'm Ashamed or Scared to Reach Out for Help?"

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Today, we’re answering questions from teens about being ashamed or scared to reach out for help in an abusive or unsafe relationship.

This is Jessica Skultety, Community Outreach Associate at Safe+Sound Somerset. We are Somerset County, New Jersey's lead domestic violence response organization, providing services at no charge for survivors of dating and domestic abuse for over 40 years.  

Today's question from local teens is: What if I’m ashamed or scared to reach out for help? 

Feeling shame and being scared are common and normal feelings, and it might take you time to reach out. That is okay. Know that abuse is not your fault. 

Teens in unsafe relationships are often nervous about talking to an adult, or texting or calling a hotline for support. The reality is that often, unsafe relationships do get worse, and there IS help and hope available, free of charge. You – yes, you – deserve to be in a happy, equal, and safe relationship – all of the time. 

How do you reach out for help? 

First, think about finding a close friend or even better, a trusted adult who can listen to and support you in your decisions. This person can even sit with you if you’d like to call or text our hotline, but you’re nervous about it. If you need to call 911 in case of danger or emergency, it’s good to have someone around or on your side, if you can.

Tell this person that you need to talk to them about a serious situation. Ask them to listen to what you have to say, and don’t be afraid to ask them directly for what you need. You are important, and you matter.  

Remember that you have the power over your decisions. If you are nervous about reaching out for help, know that many survivors of abusive relationships go on to live happy and healthy lives. It can take bravery and hard work to heal from trauma, and sometimes the first step can be the hardest.  

Know that our 24/7 call or text hotline is confidential and anonymous. You will be asked your name, but you don’t have to give it, and caller ID is blocked. So, you can call or text just for information about our free services or for supportive listening. If you are a minor or under 18, we do not contact your parents or guardians if you call or text us. 

To talk with an expert, call or text the Safe+Sound Somerset 24/7 confidential hotline at 866-685-1122 for supportive listening, information, and safety planning. 

 Want to “Ask Ava” a question? Visit our website at www.safe-sound.org/ask-ava. Thank you for listening today. Join us next time here on Ask Ava.