loveisrespect

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
loveisrespect Website Poster Image
Solid site content includes 24-7 emotional support.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about relationship elements such as abuse, respect, conflict resolution -- and utilizing emotional skills. Materials suggest it's a good idea to be empathetic, supportive, willing to compromise in relationships -- actions that can also help in nonromantic ones. Kids can find out factors that indicate a relationship isn't positive, how different types of abuse are defined, how to handle a negative situation. Touches on elements such as self-expression and communication, trust, and confidence.

Positive Messages

Solid advice about relationship aspects such as importance of communication, along with realistic look at abuse risks.

Violence

In a tasteful, constructive way, touches on physical and emotional abuse that can occur in relationships.

Sex

Educational information outlines what actions constitute sexual abuse in dating.

Language
Consumerism

Has information about how to donate to the organization, but kids won't get bombarded with requests to give money.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that loveisrespect is a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, a nonprofit organization that provides information and support for victims of abuse. The loveisrespect website is geared toward young adults and provides information about signs that can indicate that a relationship is abusive and some insight on how to address the situation. Kids can also access resources such as free confidential phone, live chat, and texting services, and the site offers numerous written materials, such as quizzes, downloadable bookmarks, posters, and other items, and educational brochures on topics ranging from financial abuse to setting boundaries in relationships.

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What's it about?

LOVEISRESPECT, a National Domestic Violence Hotline project, offers information to help young people avoid and end abusive relationships. They can connect with trained peer advocates 24 hours a day via phone, chat, or text and read about healthy, unhealthy, and abusive dating relationship behaviors. Additional materials -- such as downloadable cards that list abuse warning signs, quizzes, and blog posts on topics like dating and hooking up -- are available. Resources are also provided to help educators and others support victims of abuse.

Is it any good?

This site features information for young people who are in abusive or otherwise unhealthy relationships and the people in their lives, including educators. A couple of items speak directly to abusers, including a page that addresses whether people who have been abusive in a relationship can change -- and how. The site does a good job of outlining some of the lesser-known and harder to recognize aspects of abuse, such as digital and financial abuse, which kids may not be completely familiar with. Kids get a lot of reassurance that their feelings and needs in a relationship are valid, and while much of the site addresses negative aspects that can occur, there's also a fair amount about what positive things kids can and should expect from a relationship, such as trust and respect.

The various sections don't supply an extremely academic or lengthy look at many of the topics that are discussed -- they're generally about a page long -- but they're informative. Kids may be frustrated to find a number of broken links on the site, such as the Printable Quizzes header. Within the Relationships 101 section, items referenced in the text that should lead to other areas on the site instead take you to a "Nothing Found" page on the National Domestic Violence Hotline's website. But kids can usually find the intended page to access the information through one of the drop-down menus on loveisrespect. Some information is presented in differing formats -- such as the advocacy-oriented abuse warning sign cards kids can print and hand out, and the Power and Control Wheel, where kids can click on a spoke to learn more about a form of abuse. But the ability to talk to a live person 24 hours a day alone makes loveisrespect a notable resource for teens who are concerned about their relationship -- and the other materials can certainly help them get a better understanding of what to expect and what to question when dating someone.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about treating someone respectfully in a relationship, as outlined on loveisrespect. What are some actions that are definitely not OK?

  • What things could both people do to make sure the other person in a relationship feels trusted and supported?

  • How can you express your emotions without other people feeling like they're being attacked?

Website details

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For kids who love relationships

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