Lifesaving Lines

Time of Year

October – SADD Calendar
October – Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Any time of year


Allows teens to practice being helpful when a friend is in an abusive relationship


To help teens recognize how a victim of dating violence can become isolated


High school students

Materials Needed
  • Scissors
  • String

What to Do

  1. Click here to download the statements you’ll need for this activity. Photocopy and cut out the statements and ten one-foot pieces of string.
  2. Choose 12 volunteers. Pull two of them aside and quietly ask if one will play the victim and the other the abuser. If they agree, give them the cards with victim and abuser on the top. Tell the abuser that when it is his turn to read the card, he should grab all of the strings before reading the card.
  3. Hand out the remaining cards and pieces of string to the rest of the volunteers.
  4. Put the volunteer who is playing the victim next to the abuser. The rest of the group forms a semicircle around them and stands facing the victim and the abuser.
  5. Tell the volunteers (all accept the victim and the abuser) to hold one end of the string and the victim to hold the other end of each piece of string.
  6. Do not tell the group who is playing what part. Tell the volunteers that they should only read the first point.
  7. Start by having the victim read her card then have each person read the name at the top of the card and the statement and drop the string. The victim should remain holding all of the strings.
  8. After everyone has read his or her first statement and dropped the strings, the abuser grabs all of the strings that the victim is holding on to and reads his statement.
  9. Have everyone freeze and pose the following questions.
    • What did this activity show you?
    • Why do you think the parents reacted they way they did? (Often abusers have two different parts of their personality. They have the ability to be quite charming to the public and often no one sees the anger except the victim.)
    • What do you think is wrong with what the school counselor said? (The most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when the victim tries to leave. If the abuser finds out the victim has told someone, he or she may get very angry and the situation may not be safe.)
    • What do you think was wrong with the coach’s comment?
    • What do you think the strings represented?
    • Why do you think the abuser was able to take all of the strings?
    • Do you want to try this again and see if we can get more helpful comments?
  1. Have the group try it again reading the second statement.
  2. Discuss.
  3. Hand out “How to Help a Friend.”

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