11 Dec Some prevention ideas
It’s a great experience to start to really like someone and then find out that he or she feels the same. A lot of times you just want to jump right into some kind of relationship with the person. But wait! There are a few things you might want to consider first.
Do I want to date someone who may be aggressive toward me? Yes/no
Does my description of my “ideal” boy- or girl- friend involve abuse? Yes/no
Does it seem rather strange to answer “yes” to either of these questions? Even though almost no one would consciously (meaning knowingly) answer “yes” to these questions, people still do end up in relationships where their partner is aggressive and/or abusive. So if you answered “yes” because you are in an abusive relationship, please seek help.
If you answered “no”, then ask yourself, What steps am I willing to take to make sure it never happens?
A few prevention suggestions then:
Are you drinking alcohol or using other drugs? Let’s be clear here – you are not supposed to be drinking or using drugs. But let’s also be real here – teens experiment. If you experiment, keep in mind that you lose control of your judgement and impulse control when using drugs or alcohol. You don’t think clearly. Do not drink to excess and become a potential victim (we recommended no drinking whatsoever! It’s against the law.). (But if you are drinking, keep an eye on your drink at all times! Date rape drugs are put into drinks when you are not looking!) Please read the alcohol and drug posts to learn more.
Set your boundaries from the beginning. Know from the beginning what you want and what your boundaries are. Express them to your partner. Be clear so that expectations are set from the beginning. Anyone who does not respect your wishes is not respecting who you are and this may be a sign of upcoming abuse.
Where are your friends? Don’t abandon your friends when you are in a relationship. They will be a good source of support and can help you to “keep it real” about what is happening. Lean on them when you are feeling confused about what is healthy.
Communication is necessary to set good boundaries. Are you clear about what the relationship means to you (even if it’s just a casual hook up!)? Is the other person aware of this? To read more about communicating for a healthy relationship, click here.
What are your morals and principles and do you stick to them? Your morals and principles help you to set your boundaries and guide you in your decisions. When in a relationship, take some time to think about your morals and if you are compromising on any of them. The more you begin to compromise (meaning give in), the greater the possibility that you are crossing over into an abusive relationship.