HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS FOR TEENS
The Teen Years Are A Time When Lots Of Dating Relationships Will Begin And End For Everyone.
Most of these relationships will be fun and offer you the chance to experience new things and meet new people. They also will allow you to learn more about yourself. Some of these relationships might not be healthy for you. Genesis House wants you to be as informed as possible and teach you the warning signs of dangerous relationships, so you will be able to spot them early on and protect yourself from harm.
What is Domestic Violence? Domestic Violence is a pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, that adults and teens use against their intimate partners. Also referred to as Intimate Partner Violence. Abusers will often use abusive behaviors to control and show power over their dating partner. As teens, you are particularly at risk. Domestic violence in dating relationships is more likely to happen to young people, ages 16-24, than any other age group. The only other risk factor which increases a person’s likelihood of being abused by a dating partner is being female.
DID YOU KNOW...
One woman is abused every 15 seconds by an intimate partner in the US
SAFE DATING HABITS
Always Be Assertive:
Be firm and straightforward in your relationships. Sometimes telling people what you want and how you feel can be uncomfortable, but it’s necessary.
things are not rushed:
Both people in the relationship need to be comfortable with how things are moving along. You should know your partner well before you commit to them.
trust is important:
Each person needs to trust the other for a relationship to be healthy.
use social media cautiously:
Keep in mind that everything you post online is stored on a remote server and cannot ever be fully deleted. Sexually explicit images that are shared or stored online can always be traced back to you. Never share anything online that you wouldn’t want your family and/or entire school to see.
space and privacy are your right:
Being able to spend time away from your partner is one of the marks of a healthy relationship. You have a right to space and privacy. Both people should have their own friends and hobbies. Everyone has the right to keep certain aspects of their lives private, including passwords.
get their consent:
Keep yourself and you partner safe by making sure any physical contact you have is consensual. A person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol can never give consent.
thoughts can be expressed openly:
You should always feel safe to express your thoughts and needs to your partner, even if it means refusing to give them something they want.
trust your instincts:
If a situation makes you feel uncomfortable, try to be calm and think of a way to remove yourself. Trust your gut!
Cycle Of Violence
Honeymoon: Every relationship starts in the Honeymoon phase. This is when people are on their best behavior and you are getting to know the best of a person. Eventually, you start to get comfortable and you commit to the relationship.
Tension Building: Every relationship has disagreements. In healthy relationships, when disagreements happen, you both use healthy communication skills, and everyone feels heard and respected. In unhealthy relationships, one person dominates the disagreement and the other feels ignored, small and/or scared.
Acute Explosion: Any type of abuse occurs.
Honeymoon: Abuser may apologize for abuse, promise it won’t happen again, will go and get help, deny the abuse was their fault, act like it didn’t happen, blames victim for the abuse or give gifts. Victims may hope abuse is over and trust that abuser is sorry. Once the abuser is comfortable that the victim isn’t going to leave, the Tension Building phase starts all over again.
Adapted From: Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP), Deluth, MN
CHECK OUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP FOR RED-FLAGS OF ABUSE!
Click To View Red Flags
A “Red Flag” is a something your partner does that should make you pause, and wonder is this relationship is right for you. If any of these behaviors are present in your relationship, you need to ask yourself, “am I safe?”
For Teens In A Violent Relationship
If you are in a violent relationship, you should start planning for how to get safe. Here are some questions to ask yourself when creating your own safety plan:
Which adults can I tell about the abuse?
Who can I tell at school so that I can stay safe while I’m there? (teachers, principal, security guards, counselors)
Who can I call for a ride if I need to leave a situation fast?
Where are the local police departments in my neighborhood?
How can I change my route to and from school, and how can I change my routine in general so that it’s difficult to follow me?
Do I need to change my cell phone number? How do I block numbers?
Does my abusive partner have passwords to my cell, social media, email and/or my locker combination? If so, how can I change those things?
Can I make a code word with my friends or family that I could say or text that would indicate to them that I’m in trouble and I need their help?
Am I eligible for a protection order, or can I press criminal charges against my abusive partner?
Which friends can I walk home with, or walk to class with? How can I make sure I’m alone as little as possible?
Which friends can I tell that would be helpful and wouldn’t treat this as gossip and spread it around?
Dating Bill Of Rights
I Have A Right To:
Ask for a date
Refuse a date
Refuse any activities, even if my date is excited about them
Say, "I think my friend is wrong and their actions are inappropriate"
Tell someone not to interrupts me
Have my limits and values respected
Tell my partner when I need affection
From the Domestic Violence Advocacy Program of Family Resources, Inc.
I Have The Responsibility to:
Determine my limits and values
Respect the limits of others
Communicate clearly and honestly
Not violate the limits of others
Ask for help when I need it
Check my actions decisions to determine whether they are good or bad for me
Set high goals for myself
I will use my voice and stand up for myself!
What Can I Do To Stop Domestic Violence In My Community?
In order to truly know how to support survivors and have people listen to you, you have to know what you are talking about! Do your research. Talk to survivors, read books, listen to podcasts, watch movies and TED Talks. The more you educate yourself, the more credible you will be to others.
Leslie Morgan Steiner “Why DV Victims Don’t Leave”
Speaking out about any topic can be scary but domestic violence can really make people upset. Intimate Partner Violence is born from a belief system that makes people think they have the right to behave this way. So, telling someone that they don’t have the right to hurt or control others is offending their belief system, AND THEY DO NOT LIKE THAT! Be brave and be strong! Use facts and laws to support your arguments but always make sure you are safe.
If you have experienced abuse, please take care of yourself first. Talk to a professional and make sure you are emotionally ready to have tough conversations, so you don’t get triggered.
Join the Genesis House Teen Street Team, a well-trained group of teens from Lorain County working together to stop domestic violence and teen dating violence. We conduct educational programs, awareness campaigns and support for survivors in schools and the community. The TST works to change the environment of a school to make domestic violence unacceptable and make survivors feels supported and safe.