Escaping Abusive Relationships...The Whole Story—Part 3
Pop quiz hot shot.
Does your boyfriend or girlfriend:
- Always check up on you and constantly accuse you of cheating?
- Keep you from seeing friends?
- Tell you how to dress?
- Ignore your opinions or feelings?
- Criticize you for little things or embarrass you in public?
- Destroy your personal property?
- Hit, punch, grab, slap, kick, or bite you?
- Force you to have sex?
- Threaten to commit suicide or threaten to kill you?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above, you may be a victim. Get abusive relationship help.
Abuse comes in all shapes and forms—physical, emotional, verbal—but the sooner you come to terms with it, the better. If you're in an abusive relationship, it helps to confide in people you trust: friends, family member, or counselor. Contact a crisis center for support and resources, or seek legal action. You need to get abusive relationship help if you have been abused in a relationship.
What about your friends?
If you have a friend who is a victim of dating violence, she needs your abusive relationship help. Listen to her and believe what she says. Don't push her. Leaving and recovering from an abusive relationship takes time. Help your friend find safety in abusive relationship help, which may mean telling a trusted adult, counselor, or authority figure.
You should not confront the abuser. You may be putting your friend in danger, not to mention yourself. Think rationally. Most of all, don't blame your friend. Nobody deserves to be abused.
The stalking factor
Stalking—following, incessant phone calls, unwanted communication—occurs when someone makes you believe that he/she will cause you physical harm or mental distress. If you think you're being stalked, you can get abusive relationship help from friends, family, or support groups. There are also ways to gather evidence and take legal action with the help of your parents or another trusted adult.
How can you help prevent this situation? Get caller ID or an unlisted number. Inform your friends, family, and coworkers not to give out your personal info. Document events, dates, times, witnesses, locations, and emotions. Save all recorded phone messages and written materials including letters, cards, and emails. Keep all legal documents.
Remember: No matter what an abusive partner tells you, abuse is never your fault.