Many Women (and some men) do not at first see that they are in a domestic abuse situation. Some young women experience abuse from their partner, ex-partner, parents, step parents, foster parents, or other person in their household.
What Makes a Healthy Relationship?
Hopefully, you and your significant other are treating each other well. Not sure if that's the case? Take a step back and think about whether your relationship has these seven qualities:
- Mutual respect - Respect in a relationship means that each person values who the other is and understands and would never challenge the other person's boundaries.
- Trust - There's no way you can have a healthy relationship if you don't trust each other.
Honesty - This one goes hand-in-hand with trust because it's tough to trust someone when
one of you isn't being honest.
- Support - It's not just in bad times that your partner should support you.
- Fairness/equality - You need to have give-and-take in your relationship, too.
- Separate identities - In a healthy relationship, everyone needs to make compromises. But that doesn't mean you should feel like you're losing out on being yourself.
Good communication - Speak honestly and openly so that the miscommunication is
avoided in the first place
What's an Unhealthy Relationship?
A relationship is unhealthy when it involves mean, disrespectful, controlling, or abusive behaviour. Some people live in homes with family who fight a lot or abuse each other - emotionally, verbally, or physically. For some people who have grown up around this kind of behavior it can almost seem normal or OK. It's not!
Many of us learn from watching and imitating the people close to us. So someone who has lived around violent or disrespectful behavior may not have learned how to treat others with kindness and respect or how to expect the same treatment. It's not healthy to stay in a relationship that involves abusive behavior of any kind.
When a partner uses verbal insults, mean language, nasty putdowns, gets physical by hitting or slapping, or forces someone into sexual activity, it's an important warning sign of verbal, emotional, or physical abuse. Ask yourself, does my partner:
- get angry when I don't drop everything for him or her?
- criticize the way I look or dress, and say I'll never be able to find anyone else who would date me?
- keep me from seeing friends or from talking to any other guys or girls?
- want me to quit an activity, even though I love it?
- ever raise a hand when angry, like he or she is about to hit me?
- try to force me to go further sexually than I want to?
It can be tempting to make excuses or misinterpret violence, possessiveness, or anger as an expression of love. But even if you know that the person hurting you loves you, it is not healthy. No one deserves to be hit, shoved, or forced into anything he or she doesn't want to do.
Physical Abuse can be that someone has:
- Attacked You
- Smashed furniture, destroyed property
Mental/verbal abuse can be that someone has:
- Stopped you from seeing friends
- Threatened to hurt you
- Controlled the money
- Blamed you for the violence
- Put you down, called you names
Sexual abuse can be that someone has:
- Forced you to have sex
- Touched you sexually
As well as making you feel anxious, domestic abuse can be dangerous for you and your baby.
It is not acceptable- Try to tell someone
If you are not comfortable talking to someone face to face, you can call the Women’s Aid 24-hour domestic violence helpline on 0800 2000 247, where you will get confidential advice and support.