Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One of the Possible Dangers of Romance. Guest Peer Leader Blog Post By Hannah Davis

Sometimes we find ourselves in a relationship where something doesn’t seem quite right. Many things can go wrong in romantic relationship, and because of this we have to take caution when we select a mate. Perhaps one of the most serious issues is when a person becomes involved in an abusive relationship.

What do we consider to be abusive relationships? This doesn’t have a simple answer because there are many forms of abuse; physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, financial, social, spiritual, or a combination of the above. All of these are serious signs that you should get out of the relationship quickly. If any of these forms of abuse are occurring you are not in a loving relationship, your partner most likely wont stop even if he or she says they will change, and they aren’t trustworthy. You must remember this person is trying to manipulate you in order to control you. That is not okay.

What I found to be very interesting was that victims, typically women, tend to stay with their partner. I asked myself, why would you stay? So I looked it up and found that there is a cycle of violence these relationships get stuck in. It starts with the build up phase where there is noticeable tension and perhaps a sense of unease. Next comes the explosion where you experience the abuse. After that, which may occur immediately or soon thereafter, comes the remorse stage, where the abuser tries to make it up to you through gifts, saying “it will never happen again”, or that “it was all your fault”. And lastly is the time when things appear to get normal; the abuser seems to have truly felt bad about what happened and seemed to change. This honeymoon period doesn’t last long before the entire cycle starts again.

While I understand that it’s the honeymoon phase that keeps people in those types of relationships, I still couldn’t comprehend why it takes people so long to get out of those bad situations; eventually they must realize that the cycle wont stop repeating itself. I could think of several reasons, such as fear of leaving, but was that really enough to keep you there?

There are myths about abusive relationships and I began to wonder if that was another factor keeping people from leaving. Some of the myths included the victim deserved to be hurt, that those who are abused should be ashamed about it, that if it isn’t physical abuse it doesn’t count, that it’s the abusers drug and/or alcohol use that makes them violent, and that victims are weak because they don’t stand up for themselves.

Seeing as it’s a myth, none of these things are true. If you happen to be in an abusive relationship and these thoughts are stopping you from reaching out for help, please understand that none of it is your fault. No one deserves to be treated in any type of abusive manner.

Why is it important to leave an abusive relationship? First and foremost it is unhealthy physically (losing sleep, bodily injury) and mentally unhealthy (depression, fear, problems trusting others). Secondly, you should be in a fun relationship that centers on love, acceptance, and feelings of safety.

So, if you are in an unsafe relationship its times to get out of it! Talk to a trusted adult or friend or call a hotline. You can reach the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474, the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

1 comment:

  1. Many people who stay in such abusive relationships have low self esteem and self worth. They lack love and respect for their selves that's why they are afraid of breaking up. They must be aware that an abusive relationship is a trap that they must escape as soon as possible.