Love. At any age it is a wonderful feeling to experience, sometimes it doesn’t make sense, and it can easily disorient you. But there is nothing that we wouldn’t do for the ones that we love, and in a relationship, when that sort of unconditional love is reciprocated, it’s even that much harder to let it go. Even if letting it go is for the better. How far is it alright to go in the name of love? How far should we allow ourselves the pain and suffering that comes with the giving of our heart to someone? How long do we allow the abuse to continue?
According to an online source (ChaCha.com) 38 to 50 percent of people experience an abusive relationship throughout the course of their lives, and sometimes, those people experience more than one abusive relationship. That number is by far too high for my comfort. And the ratio is not any better when dealing with high school relationships. ACAVD online source says that one in every three high school students have or will be in an abusive relationship, and forty percent of girls say that they know someone (ages 14-17) who has been involved in an abusive relationship. Imagine, teenagers being involved in an abusive relationship when they really should be worrying about Prom, or being with friends, enjoying life and getting involved in school activities, dealing with abusive from their significant other.
Many times, the problem with these situations, for teenagers and adults, is that the signs of abuse creep up slowly in the relationship. There are little signs here, more little signs there, but nothing really significant to cause you lack of sleep at night. It isn’t until the relationship and situations revolving it are in full force, leaving the abused partner in shock and wondering where this all came from. Basically it’s like a sneak attack, where the abuse is not realized until it is too late and the abused partner feels as though they have no way out.
If this is seeming like a hopeless abusive battle that is already won long before the abuse is recognized, don’t lose hope. There are ways of identifying abuse long before the point is reached of feeling like there is nothing you can do but endure it.
Before you can recognize the signs that you or a friend are in an abusive relationship, it is good to realize that there are many forms of abuse in a relationship. Physical abuse the kind that most people think of when they hear the word abuse but it is not the only form there is between too people.
This form of abuse is occurring if your partner is subjecting you to language that is demeaning and causes psychological distress to you. Things like publically humiliating you, or talking to you in a manner that makes you feel small are all signs of emotional abuse
If your partner is forcing himself/herself on you in a sexual way that you do not want or are protesting about, and yet your partner does not stop. This doesn’t have to be something that happens more than once in order for it to be considered abuse, one time is all it takes for you to have been sexually abused.
When your partner puts their hands on you in a forceful and painful way. Actions such as hitting, kicking, pulling or yanking you around, and even throwing objects at you purposefully are all signs of physical abuse.
How to Recognize Abuse
– If your partner begins to degrade you, or make fun of you, telling you that there is something you need to change about yourself to please him/her. This can be changing your clothes, or your demeanor.
– If your partner slowly starts to become the dominant figure in the relationship; meaning that they want to control everything that you do from hanging out with friends, to being with family, to even going out on your own. Many times, they will want all of your attention to be focused on them and will become angry when it isn’t.
– If your partner frequently tries to manipulate conversations, making you feel like it is all your fault and they are the victims.
– If you protest to sexual activities and your partner becomes forceful and carries out these activities anyway, later making you feel that you were wrong for protesting in the first place.
– If they put their hands on you in an angry way and hurt you by means of throwing you around, hitting you, kicking you, throwing objects at you, or any other physical action that causes you harm.
– Threatening to harm you, your family, or even themselves if they do not get their way or if you tell them you are breaking up with them.
Many times, after being abused, your partner will try and tell you that they love you and make you feel as though you are crazy to even think that the incidence of abuse was there fault. And it’s sad, but true, to say that they have gained power over you by making you believe that.
The important thing to remember is to always follow your instincts. If you feel that something is not right, then it probably isn’t. I know this can be difficult, I myself did not recognize the signs until it was too late and I felt that there was really no way to get out of the relationship. Trust in yourself, and in your family and friends who might try and bring to light some of the abusive behaviors that they see going on. While you might have honestly loved this person, they couldn’t have felt the same way about you if they would treat you in such an ugly and unloving way. Don’t let this continue, it’s better to have lost a love then to lose yourself in abuse.
“What Percent of People Are in Abusive Relationship.” ChaCha Powered By People. Web. November 20, 2010
“Dating Violence.” ACADV. Web. November 20, 2010