Alma’s Life Skills Handout: Domestic Abuse
The Siren Staff The Siren Staff August 22, 2014

Alma’s Life Skills Handout: Domestic Abuse

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You Deserve to Be Respected!

According to loveisrespect.org: Relationships that are not healthy are based on power and control, not equality and respect.

In the early stages of an abusive relationship, you may not think the unhealthy behaviors are a big deal. However, possessiveness, insults, jealous accusations, yelling, humiliation, pulling hair, pushing or other negative, abusive behaviors, are — at their root — exertions of power and control.

Abuse can happen to anyone, but it’s your choice to stay or go, and you deserve to be respected. There is no excuse for abuse of any kind.

Safety First

If you think your relationship is unhealthy, it’s important to think about your safety now. Consider these points as you move forward:

  • Understand that a person can only change if they want to. You can’t force your partner to alter their behavior if they don’t believe they’re wrong.
  • Focus on your own needs. Are you taking care of yourself? Your wellness is always important. Watch your stress levels, take time to be with friends, get enough sleep. If you find that your relationship is draining you, consider ending it.
  • Connect with your support systems. Often, abusers try to isolate their partners. Talk to your friends, family members, teachers and others to make sure you’re getting the emotional support you need.
  • Remember, our advocates at loveisrespect.org are always ready to talk if you need a listening ear. You can call their hotline at 1-866-331-9474 or text “loveis” to 22522 at any time, 24/7/365.
  • Think about breaking up. Remember that you deserve to feel safe and accepted in your relationship.

What is Physical Abuse?

Physical abuse is any intentional and unwanted contact with you or something close to your body. Sometimes abusive behavior does not cause pain or even leave a bruise, but it’s still unhealthy. Examples of physical abuse are:

  • Scratching, punching, biting, strangling or kicking.
  • Throwing something at you such as a phone, book, shoe or plate.
  • Pulling your hair.
  • Pushing or pulling you.
  • Grabbing your clothing.
  • Using a gun, knife, box cutter, bat, mace or other weapon.
  • Smacking your bottom.
  • Forcing you to have sex or perform a sexual act.
  • Grabbing your face to make you look at them.
  • Grabbing you to prevent you from leaving or to force you to go somewhere.

Escaping Physical Abuse

Start by learning that you are not alone. More than one in 10 high school students have already experienced some form of physical aggression from a dating partner, and many of these teens did not know what to do when it happened. If you are in a similar situation:

Other Kinds of Abuse

Emotional/verbal abuse includes non-physical behaviors such as yelling, threats, insults, constant monitoring or “checking in,” excessive texting, humiliation, intimidation, isolation or stalking.

Sexual abuse refers to any action that pressures or coerces someone to do something sexually they don’t want to do. It is important to know that just because the victim “didn’t say no,” doesn’t mean that they meant “yes.” Some think that if the victim didn’t resist, that it doesn’t count as abuse. That’s not true. It’s still is!

Stalking is when a person repeatedly watches, follows or harasses you, making you feel afraid or unsafe. A stalker can be someone you know, a past boyfriend or girlfriend or a stranger.

Digital dating abuse is the use of technologies such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. Often this behavior is a form of verbal or emotional abuse perpetrated online. It is never ok for someone to do or say anything that makes you feel bad, lowers your self-esteem or manipulates you!

Financial abuse can happen in ways that seem very small — telling you what you can and cannot buy or requiring you to share control of your bank accounts. At no point does someone you are dating have the right to use money or how you spend it to control you!

The Siren Staff

The Siren Staff

The student staff of the East Los High Siren, bringing you all the news and everyday realness from East LA and beyond!

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