Please read this before dismissing it as being ‘irrelevant to me’

Description: What Is Abuse?

Abuse 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. But actually, excessive jealousy and controlling behaviour 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.

Signs 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 used by people concerned about getting what they want. Trust your intuition. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t.

Important warning signs that you may be involved in an abusive relationship include when someone:
-Harms you physically in any way, including slapping, pushing, grabbing, shaking, smacking, kicking, and punching
-Tries to control different aspects of your life, such as how you dress, who you hang out with, and what you say
-Frequently humiliates you or making you feel unworthy (for example, if a partner puts you down but tells you that he or she loves you)
-Coerces or threatens to harm you if you leave the relationship
-Twists the truth to make you feel you are to blame for your partner’s actions
-Demands to know where you are at all times
-Constantly becomes jealous or angry when you want to spend time with your friends

How You Can Help Yourself:
If you can’t love someone without feeling afraid, it’s time to get out of the relationship. 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 to call the police.
Assault is illegal, and so is rape — even if it’s done by someone you are dating.

Everyone has the right to feel safe in any relationship
Everyone in a relationship should be treated with respect
Nobody should suffer the pain from physical or emotional abuse

Diane Tanaka (Vancouver, BC)
Type: Human Services – Crime and Legal Related

Domestic Violence

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