FOR KIDS & TEENS

It’s not easy being kids and teens today.

There are pressures in your house or apartment, at school, and in your neighborhood. Sometimes, you are unhappy because of online bullying.

Maybe your parents are divorced, or never married, and you have to shuttle back and forth between their homes.

This is a lot to deal with.
 
Do your parents argue every day? Does their arguing give you a stomach ache, making it hard to concentrate on your homework?

All parents argue. But, if yours argue every day, there’s a problem.

Have you seen your parents hit each other? What about your mother and her boyfriend or new husband? Do they hit each other? How about your father and his girlfriend or new wife? Do they hit each other?

Let’s talk about drugs and alcohol.

Have you seen your parents drunk from alcohol or high and violent from taking drugs?

All of this anger can make you become shy and sad, and afraid to talk to people.

Sometimes parents yell at you because they’re angry at themselves or each otherand it has nothing to do with you. This is wrong, and it can make you feel bad about yourself.

Also, there are times when parents are angry and hit each other, then they hit you — even though you’ve done nothing wrong. You feel powerless to defend yourself and to make them stop.

This is scary stuff.

If your house is filled with daily or hourly yelling, screaming, and hitting, this is called childhood domestic violence. It doesn’t matter if you get hit or you watch others getting hit, it still affects you on the inside. And, if this violence doesn’t stop, you will continue to feel the pain when you’re 20, 30, 40, and 50 years old.

What should you do? Don’t ignore the problem! You need help.

REMEMBER: You are not alone.

Always go to your parents first. If you are afraid to do that, get help from a relative — aunt, uncle, grandmother, or grandfather.

If that’s not possible, for whatever reason, ask a teacher at school whom you trust. Also, ask your teacher to give you a Hope Bear, which will bring you a lot of comfort.

If your teacher isn’t available (nights, weekends, breaks, and vacations), call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.

REMEMBER: You are not alone.