Thursday, February 4, 2010

February is teen dating and violence awareness month

Raise awareness for teen dating violence by wearing your heart on your sleeve the whole month of February. Make your own heart or put on a heart sticker. covers the subjects of sexting, constant messaging, spying, digital disrespect, and cruelty on cell phones. National resource center for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Your Relationship is Healthy If…
You trust your partner.
You treat each other the way you want to be treated, and accept each other’s opinions and interests.
You each feel physically safe in the relationship.
Your partner likes your friends and encourages you to spend time with them and wants to include them in his/her life as well as yours.
You make important decisions together.
Your partner understands when you spend time away from him or her.
You don’t feel responsible for protecting your partner’s reputation or for covering for his/her mistakes.
Your partner encourages you to enjoy different activities (like joining the volleyball team or football team, running for student government, or being in a play) and helps you reach your goals.
Your partner likes you for who you are – not just for what you look like.
You are not afraid to say what you think and why you think that way. You like to hear how your partner thinks, and don’t always have to agree.
You have both a friendship and a physical attraction.
You don’t have to be with your partner 24/7.
Your partner doesn’t force sexual activity or insist that you do something that makes you uncomfortable.

Red Flags for Abusive Relationships
The following is a list of warning signs for potentially abusive relationships. They are presented as guidelines and cues to pay attention to, not as judgments on the worth of the other person.
Question relationships with partners who:
Abuse alcohol or other drugs.
Have a history of trouble with the law, get into fights, or break and destroy property.
Don’t work or go to school.
Blame you for how they treat you, or for anything bad that happens.
Abuse siblings, other family members, children or pets.
Put down people, including your family and friends, or call them names.
Are always angry at someone or something.
Try to isolate you and control whom you see or where you go.
Nag you or force you to be sexual when you don’t want to be.
Cheat on you or have lots of partners.
Are physically rough with you (push, shove, pull, yank, squeeze, restrain).
Take your money or take advantage of you in other ways.
Accuse you of flirting or “coming on” to others or accuse you of cheating on them.
Don’t listen to you or show interest in your opinions or feelings. . .things always have to be done their way.
Ignore you, give you the silent treatment, or hang up on you.
Lie to you, don’t show up for dates, maybe even disappear for days.
Make vulgar comments about others in your presence
Blame all arguments and problems on you.
Tell you how to dress or act.
Threaten to kill themselves if you break up with them, or tell you that they cannot live without you.
Experience extreme mood swings. . .tell you you’re the greatest one minute and rip you apart the next minute.
Tell you to shut up or tell you you’re dumb, stupid, fat, or call you some other name (directly or indirectly).
Compare you to former partners.

Some other cues that might indicate an abusive relationship might include:
You feel afraid to break up with them.
You feel tied down, feel like you have to check-in.
You feel afraid to make decisions or bring up certain subjects so that the other person won’t get mad.
You tell yourself that if you just try harder and love your partner enough that everything will be just fine.
You find yourself crying a lot, being depressed or unhappy.
You find yourself worrying and obsessing about how to please your partner and keep them happy.
You find the physical or emotional abuse getting worse over time.

What are your rights in a relationship?
To express your opinions and have them be respected
To have your needs be as important as your partner’s needs
To grow as an individual in your own way
To change your mind
To not take responsibility for your partner’s behavior
To not be physically, emotionally, verbally or sexually abused
To break up with or fall out of love with someone and not be threatened

National Resources
Intimate Partner Violence
National Domestic Violence Hotline Hotline advocates are available for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Assistance is available in English and Spanish with access to more than 140 languages through interpreter services. 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) (or 1-800-787-3224 TTY)

National Center for Victims of Crime: Dating Violence Resource Center Online resources include fact sheets, tip sheets for teens, parents, service providers, school administrators, and anyone else concerned about dating violence. National colition of Anti-Violence Programs

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