You Being Abused?|
By Dr. Richard Kingsley
Brian and Sarah began dating, all of her friends were jealous. Brian seemed like
the perfect guy: smart, sensitive, funny, athletic, and good-looking. For the
first couple of months, Sarah thought she had never been happier. She started
to miss her friends and family, though, because she was spending more time with
Brian and less time with everyone else. That seemed easier than dealing with Brian's
endless questions. He worried about what she was doing at every moment of the
friends became concerned when her behavior started to change. She lost interest
in the things she once enjoyed, like swimming and music. She became secretive
and moody. When her friends asked Sarah if she was having trouble with Brian,
she forcefully denied that anything was wrong. What was going on? Read this article
to find out how to tell if you or a friend is being abused and what you can do
has heard the songs about how much love can hurt. But that doesn't mean physical
harm: Someone who loves you should never abuse you. Healthy relationships involve
respect, trust, and consideration for the other person.
can sometimes be mistaken for intense feelings of caring or concern. Sometimes
abuse can even seem flattering; think of a friend whose boyfriend or girlfriend
is insanely jealous. Maybe you've thought your friend's partner really cares about
him or her. But actually excessive jealousy and controlling behavior are not signs
of affection at all. Love involves respect and trust; it doesn't mean constantly
worrying about the possible end of the relationship.
can be physical, emotional, or sexual. Slapping, hitting, and kicking are forms
of physical abuse that can occur in both romances and friendships.
abuse, like teasing, bullying, and humiliating others, can be difficult to recognize
because it doesn't leave any visible scars. Threats, intimidation, put-downs,
and betrayal are all harmful forms of emotional abuse that can really hurt - not
just during the time it's happening, but long after, too.
never right to be forced into any type of sexual experience that you don't want.
This type of abuse can happen to anyone, anytime.
first step is to realize that you have the right to be treated with respect and
not be physically or emotionally harmed by another person. But how can you prevent
becoming involved in this type of relationship? How can you help a friend who
is in an abusive relationship?
That You Are Being Abused
Any type of unwanted sexual advances that make you uncomfortable are red flags
that the relationship needs to focus more on respect. Phrases like "If you
loved me, you would . . . " also should warn you of possible abuse. A statement
like this is emotional blackmail from a person concerned about getting what they
want. Trust your intuition. If it doesn't feel right, it isn't.
are important warning signs that you may be involved in an abusive relationship.
Abusive behaviors include:
you physically in any way, including slapping, pushing, grabbing, shaking, smacking,
kicking, and punching
trying to control different aspects of your life, such
as how you dress, who you hang out with, and what you say
you or making you feel unworthy; for example, if a partner puts you down but tells
you that he or she loves you
coercing or threatening to harm you if you leave
twisting the truth to make you feel you are to blame for
your partner's actions
demanding to know where you are at all times
constantly becoming jealous or angry when you want to spend time with your friends
That a Friend Is Being Abused
In addition to the signs listed above,
here are some signs of abuse to look for in a friend:
bruises, broken bones, sprains, or marks
excessive guilt or shame for no
secrecy or withdrawal from friends and family
of school or social events with excuses that don't seem to make any sense
If a friend is being abused, the one thing your friend needs most is someone to
hear and believe him or her. Maybe your friend is afraid to tell his or her parents
because they'll make him or her end the relationship. People who are abused often
feel like it's their fault - that they "asked for it" or that they don't
deserve any better. But abuse is never deserved. Your friend needs you to help
him or her understand that it is not his or her fault. Your friend is not a bad
person. The person who abused him or her is at fault and needs professional help.
you have a friend who is being abused, he or she needs your patience, love, and
understanding. Your friend also needs you to encourage him or her to get help
immediately from an adult, such as a parent or guidance counselor. Most of all,
your friend needs you to listen to him or her without judging. It takes a lot
of courage to admit that you have been abused; let your friend know that he or
she has your full support.
You Can Help Yourself
What should you do if you are suffering from any type of abuse? If you can't love
someone without feeling afraid, it's time to get out of the relationship fast.
You're worth being treated with respect and you can get help.
make sure you're safe. A trusted adult can help you. If the person has physically
attacked you, don't wait to get medical attention or call the police. Assault
is illegal, and so is rape - even if it's done by someone you are dating.
the tendency to isolate yourself from your friends and family. You might feel
like you have nowhere to turn, or you might be embarrassed about what's been going
on, but this is the time when you need support most. People like counselors, doctors,
teachers, coaches, and friends will want to help you, so let them.
rely on yourself alone to get out of the situation; the people who love and care
about you can help you break away. It's important to know that asking for help
isn't a sign of weakness - it actually shows that you have a lot of courage and
are willing to stand up for yourself.
to Get Help
Your local phone book will list hundreds of crisis centers, teen help lines, and
abuse hotlines. These organizations have professionally trained staff to listen,
understand, and help.
abuse and violence in teen relationships is a community effort with plenty of
people ready to help. Don't forget about those in your neighborhood who will be
willing and able to help: religious leaders, school nurses, teachers, school counselors,
doctors, and other health professionals are all sources of support and information.
abuse has no place in love.
Melt Your Mans Heart