By: Amanda, St. Stephens High, St. Stephen, NB
Are you involved in an abusive relationship? How do you know? What are the signs?
Violence against women is any threat, act or gesture by a male partner which affects the safety, dignity or freedom of the female partner. Dating violence may be physical, sexual, psychological or economic.
You may not think that you are being abused, but in fact you are . Here's how you know. If your partner :
- is jealous and possesive of friends and family and isolates you from them.
- treats you like a servant, making sure he is always in control.
- tries to control you by being bossy.
-makes all decisions and disregards your opinion.
-loses his temper, then claims it was not his fault.
-"If you only did what I told you to then it wouldn't have happened."
One beating or getting hit once, is even a bigger warning sign.
Abuse can happen to any woman. Boyfriends as well as husbands sometimes attack. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association eighty percent of teenage mothers are abused by their boyfriends, and once it starts it usually becomes more frequent as well as more violent.
It is against the law for a man to assault his girlfriend, but it does happen, and a woman usually gets beaten on an average of thirty-five times before they call the police.
Maybe you're not the person that is being abused but if you know someone that is, and you want to help, this is what you do.
Help her understand that:
- she does not cause the abuse
- she is not the blame for her partner's behaviour
- she can not change his behaviour
- apologies and promises will not change things
An abused woman needs support and encouragment in order to make choices that are right for her. Remember, it's not your fault and you need help. If you are a victim of violence or abuse contact your doctor or Mental Health Counsellor.
THINGS DO GET BETTER!
Canadian Mental Health Association
This article was orginally printed in the Spartan News, St. Stephens High.