top of page
Said -48_edited.jpg

Speaking Against Violence
Advocating for Healthy Relationships

At Building Strong Foundations, we're passionate about helping others develop healthy, positive relationships. 

We do so by helping teens and adults:

  • recognize warning signs of unhealthy and abusive relationships, 

  • understand components of healthy relationships, and 

  • know where to go for help.

Know the Signs

A girl in the United States is two and a half times more likely to be in an abusive dating relationship between the ages of 16-24 than she is to be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime

We know how to screen for breast cancer. Do you know the warning signs to share with the teens and young adults in your life?

Check out the topics below to learn more.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy or Abusive 

A relationship can be healthy, unhealthy, or abusive. By being aware of the different characteristics of each, we can determine if signs indicate a relationship is unsafe.

A relationship can be unhealthy when there are more unhealthy than healthy characteristics. Some relationships can be unhealthy without being or becoming abusive.


Healthy Relationships include:

  • Mutual respect

  • Trust

  • Consideration

  • Kindness

  • Honesty

  • Good communication

Subscribe to receive updates and learn of events

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.       1 Corinthians 13:4-8


Emotional and Verbal Abuse

The effects of emotional abuse are immediate and long lasting. They are often more damaging to the victim’s mental health than physical abuse. A relationship can be verbally or emotionally abusive without becoming physically abusive.

It’s often difficult to recognize verbal and/or emotional abuse as it starts subtly and increases over time and the victims often doubt themselves


Physical Abuse

Teen dating abuse can affect anyone—both females and males, all races, and all social and economic groups.

Even if our child avoids an abusive dating relationship, they could still be affected as many girls ages 14 to 17  know someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend. 



Sexual Coercion & Assault

When an individual experiences sexual coercion, they are being pressured to do something sexually or physically that they are not comfortable doing.


In order to get their way teenagers may use tactics to lower their partner’s sexual resistance or force someone to have sex with them. The person on the receiving end may give in to the coercion for any number of reasons, afterward feeling guilt and shame

Girl upset.jpg


Steadily over time, the abuser chips away at the victim’s self-esteem. The victim doesn’t recognize this, and they end up feeling defeated and demoralized. They don’t believe in themselves, and they doubt their own worth. They feel like they can’t do much right in the eyes of their partner and possibly others.


They’re isolated and alone without anyone to confide in, let alone do something fun, relax, or laugh with.

mom teen crop.jpg

How to Help

Visit the pages on this website, read It Doesn't Start with a Punch, or other resources so you can share warning signs with teens and be able to identify them. 

If you suspect that someone you know may be in an abusive relationship, learn how to talk with them and help them develop a safety plan. 



There are many national and state resources for teen dating violence and sexual assault/date rape. 

Local counselors are also helpful. Be sure it's one that is experienced with teen dating abuse and violence.

Schools may also have programs in place to help teens being abused


It Doesn't Start with a Punch

My Journey through an Abusive Teen Dating Relationship

This book helps readers to better understand how easily adolescents can become involved in an abusive relationship. The author offers an intimate lens into her first teenage relationship, which soon became one of abuse. She explores how abuse can start subtly and grow, imparting deep wounds with long-lasting effects.

The candor and willingness in which Dee Dee shares her story is truly inspirational. Speaking from experience as a school counselor, so many students get entrenched in unhealthy relationships ….  This book is a wonderful resource with information for people dealing with all aspects of this critical issue. I look forward to using it as a resource as I work with youth and others in my life, and I look forward to recommending the book to others for those same purposes. 

Alicia Edwards, Counselor, Byron P. Steele High School, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD

bottom of page