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Your friend says her boyfriend is pressuring her into having sex with other people.

You never have to have sex with anyone. Ever. That is your right.  If your boyfriend keeps pressuring you and you don’t know what to do, you can talk to an adult you trust or reach out to LoveIsRespect, a teen dating resource (you can chat with them anonymously and confidentially through their website or call them at 1-866-331-9474).

Your boyfriend is looking through all your phone messages.

It can feel really controlling if someone is looking in your phone or even in your social media. It’s not okay. They might delete your contacts or make you tell them who people are. They might be trying to isolate you and control who you are talking to.  This is a form of abuse and you don’t have to put with it.

Want Out? (SF link)

Want to Talk? (Hit up LoveIsRespect:

Your boyfriend gets you high and takes sexual photos of you and threatens to show them to your dad if you don’t have sex with his friend.

There is a word for this: sextortion.  You can learn more here.

Is the image or video online? Here is how to report or get it removed!

Learn more about abusive texts and sexting here.

Your older friend says her boyfriend can help you get a job as a dancer and make $500 a night.

If you are under 18, clubs should not be hiring you.  So, this is likely a shady deal that could possibly put you to be exploited.  Dancing is a part of the entertainment industry and most clubs hire dancers directly. If you are under 18, the law is California says you can not work more than five days in the “entertainment industry” but that does not include dancing. Basically, there are rules and they are there to protect you!  Going into the dancing industry is ok but to make sure its in a safe, comfortable environment, and at the right age, of course.

Your friend / someone at school or in the neighborhood is thinking of running away.

Hey, this is serious. Traffickers and pimps often prey upon unhoused youth. Pimps know how to spot a runaway at a bus station, a fast food place, or even in parks. Your friend could call the National Runaway Hotline ( to learn about shelters near her or talk through her situation. They’ll listen and keep her information confidential.

Here are some Bay Area resources you could point her to: [INSERT LINK TO RESOURCE PAGE]

If she needs a shelter urgently, here are some options:

Your friend shows up and says she has nowhere to go.

Your friend is going through a lot.  She may need to talk to someone about her options. How about calling the National Runaway Hotline? They also have a great website with a lot of information on things to think about in making this decision. This is a confidential and safe group to talk to for her!  We really like the way they make you think about things in the moment. You can even call them yourself to learn more:

Your friend went to another city and now he’s totally stuck there with no money and no ID. He needs to get home!

That is not good, but there is help!  Your friend might want to call 1-800-RUNAWAY and see if they can help him get on a bus home. It’s the called the “Way Home” project. It’s safe and they will have ideas on other ways to get some basic things, like food and medical care.  It’s okay. They won’t judge you.

You see your friend has a lot of condoms and lube in her bag and acts secretive when you ask her what is going on.

Safe sex is important, but sometimes a lot of excessive condoms and lube might mean she is involved in commercial sex.  No one should feel judged, but you might want to let her know that you care about her and hope she is safe. If she is feeling pressured to engage in sex or commercial sex, she could chat online with LoveisRespect.

Your friend says he has an older friend who is buying him all this cool expensive stuff.

Your friend might be excited about all the cool stuff and their older friend, but sometimes this could be part of what is known as “grooming.”  Basically, grooming is when someone is making a person feel tied to them. Later, they might say, “I got you all this cool stuff and care about you, but now you owe me.” Or, they might say, “It’s you and me now.  Can you do this one thing for us so we can stay together?” You and your friend could learn more about grooming and other tactics of traffickers or pimps by reading here.

Your friend has a new older boyfriend who is pressuring her stop going to school.

One tactic that traffickers use with their victims is to isolate them from people, like teachers or friends who might notice that something is not right.  Pressuring someone to not finish school is a form of control. Your friend might want to learn more about controlling relationships by going to LoveisRespect.

You are worried about a girl in your class who is always tired and looks like she is depressed.

Her depression may have nothing to do with sexual activity. But it also can. You should talk to her and ask her if she’s ok. She may not be able to tell you that she is depressed or why she is depressed. Depression can be unprovoked and just comes on its own. Your friend might be interested in talking with another teen who understands her or reaching out for support by text at the Crisis Text Line by texting “Home” to 741741 from anywhere in the USA.

A girl in your class starts showing up with expensive stuff and talking about moving in with her older boyfriend.

Another way older men/women groom their victims is by having them move in to their place. This allows them to have more control.  If you feel like she is endangered, let someone know. If you start seeing bad signs like: she isn't coming to school, she's bruised, or she seems distant, then you should really let an adult know.

Your friend is always talking to this guy after school who has a nice car and looks shady. You are worried about them getting into a bad situation.

Consider asking your friend, “who's this?” or “what are you talking about?”  Maybe offer to be a safety buddy for your friend and see if they will check in with you after meeting with this person.  Tell them you want them to be safe and think they should tell their parents or guardian about this person.

Your friend offers you powder but says you’ll have to give her boyfriend head to get it.

This is not your friend... get far away from them! If you are battling drug abuse, here is a link and a number to call to get help for treatment referrals and information: SAMHSA HOTLINE: 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357).

Dating a guy who you think might be looking at you weird.

Listen to your gut.  Talk to a trusted adult. Maybe a teacher or a counselor or even a trusted adult mentor or family friend? You can also call LoveIsRespect at 1-866-331-9474.

Drinking all the time and you are sick of the yelling.

You deserve to feel safe and yelling is a form of emotional abuse.  If you feel overwhelmed, you can try going to a drop-in center to talk to someone who can help you think about options or even counseling.  You can find more about safe spaces by chatting with or calling the National Runaway Safeline. They also have some great links on their site. If you’re in the Bay Area, try reaching out to Huckleberry House in San Francisco (415-621-2929) or DreamCatcher in Oakland (800-379-1114).

Telling you that you can’t date the older guy who is buying you nice things and asking you out.

Hey. That’s legit.  But, you should talk about your feelings and weigh your options. Maybe you could check out LoveIsRespect and learn more about this thing called Love Bombing. It’s a sign that someone could be trying to control you.

Taking out their anger and hitting you when they are mad.

That is really scary. You do not deserve that and it’s never okay to hit someone.  You have rights and options. Let’s get you to a safe place to talk to someone.

Your uncle is a pimp and he’s pressuring you to hook him up with girls at your high school.

This is not love. If you have a trusted adult in your life, you need to let them know. Wrong is wrong, and family doesn't get a special pass.

Your older favorite cousin is a club promoter and says he can get you into the club if you bring a few of your girlfriends with you who are underage.

That’s shady. Sorry. We just want you to be safe and that could lead to some seriously not okay stuff - like being arrested for under age drinking or even being hurt.  We found some totally fun teen clubs. Seriously, we think their music will be better anyway. Sorry, cousin.

**** We need an SF list.  Basically, most cities have lists. We just need to verify because most are Yelp reviewed..

There is never enough food in the house and you are hungry.

If you are in San Francisco, you can call Larkin Street Youth Services at 800-447-8223 to get quickly connected to a meal and help figuring out a long term plan to have food for you and/or your family.  You can also contact Huckleberry at 415-621-2929.  

You can’t come home because of too much drama in the house

All families have their drama.  Sometimes you just need a break for an hour or two.  Sometimes you need more. You can visit Huckleberry to find a safe place, shelter, or a meal.  They have helped more than 200,000 youth so that is pretty awesome!

Other options: [Insert link to resources page]

You meet this guy online and he says he wants to help you get a modeling job.

Becoming a model is really hard work!  There are legitimate agencies that help you become a model, but there are also many scams.  This includes traffickers who want to take advantage of your dream. You can learn about your rights here.

*** Need info on what photographers are allowed and not allowed to do.

You meet this older girl online. She wants to meet up and says she’ll send a car to your house.

Whoa. It’s fun and exciting to meet new people, but you have to be careful.  There are a lot of fakers out there - like old guys who pretend to be your new cute 16-year-old girlfriend. Or, they pretend to be a 19-year-old cute college guy, but actually they are a sex trafficker waiting to lure you into a horrible situation of abuse.  Here are some tips on how to stay safe when meeting people online.  If you suspect someone might be trying to trick you or take advantage of you, you can report them to the police, tell a friend, or talk to an adult you trust.

This guy who you met online and really wants you to text him sexy photos of you...

This could be fun, but it could go south really fast.  There are a lot of situations of people being blackmailed after they share sexy photos of themselves. Sometimes, they are forced to have sex with that person or even with other people, which is a form of exploitation.  It’s totally not their fault! It’s actually against the law and it’s called “sexploitation” or “sextortion.” You can read more here.

Your friend’s boyfriend assaulted her and she wants help but is afraid talking to someone might get her undocumented parents in trouble.

Everyone has a right to be safe no matter about their legal status.  You deserve protection and a chance to heal. Your friend can call LoveisRespect or chat anonymously to learn more about her rights and access to counseling and medical attention. She and her parents might be eligible for legal status and help.  You can contact Bay Area Legal Aid here in the San Francisco area or Huckleberry 24/7 teen crisis line (415-621-2929).  Many survivors of domestic violence or human trafficking have the chance to gain legal immigration status. An immigration attorney can help your friend figure out if that applies to them.