People often turn to their friends for help when they find themselves in abusive relationships. Often people in abusive relationships have limited resources to find help. If they come to you it is important to understand how complex abusive relationships can be and how difficult it might be to reach out for help.
Why don’t people leave?
When you ask a victim of abuse “why don’t you just leave?” the person might not feel supported or might feel like you are blaming them.
People stay for many reasons:
because they are in love
they think the bad things might go away
they might feel responsible for the abuse
they might want to help the abuser
they might financially depend on their abuser
Barriers to getting help
fear of hurting their partner’s feelings
fear that their friend will tell them to end the relationship
fear that they won’t be believed, understood, or that they will be blamed for what happened
fear that their parents won’t let them date anymore, or will get them in trouble
not knowing where to get help or how
fear that their partner will get mad and retaliate
not knowing how to make the situation better
fear of being judged
not trusting their abuser won’t find out
not wanting to admit it’s a problem
they might depend on their abuser for finances
they might be isolated from friends and family
Ways to help a friend
1. Don’t gossip
= how could you make sure your friend knows you won’t talk with other people about their situation?
2. Believe the story
= what would you do or say that shows your friend that you “Believe the story?”
3. Tell your friend that they DO NOT deserve to be abused
= how do you tell your friend they don’t deserve to be abused?
4. Let your friend make their own decisions
= how do you show your friend they can make their own decision?
5. Make a safety plan
= what should your friend consider when making a safety plan?
6. Give help/resources
= SPAN 24-hr Crisis and Information Hotline: 303.444.2424
= MESA 24-hr Sexual Assault Hotline: 303.443.7300
= National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1.866.331.9474
= Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN): 1.800.656.HOPE(4673)
= Break the Cycle: www.breakthecycle.org
= Hear my Voice (LGBTQ youth): hearmyvoice.breakthecycle.org/
= That’s Not Cool: www.thatsnotcool.com
= Love is Respect: www.loveisrespect.org
If a friend comes to you for help, you now know that:
1. It can be difficult to seek help
2. To support a friend, you can show them you understand, believe them, and want to help.
3. You can also point them to community resources and let them make their own decisions.
“Putting something on the internet is no different than leaving it on the table at a coffee shop in the mall.”
– Behnke, 2009
What is sexting?
the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically
Problems with sexting
NO guaranteed privacy
NO changing your mind
Nothing is truly anonymous
Recipient may not want sexts
48% of teens have received sexts
78% of teen girls & 82% of teen boys are NOT sending nude/semi-nude pictures or videos
63% of teen girls & 60% of teen boys are NOT sending sexually suggestive messages
*(stats taken from thenationalcampaign.org, 2008)
How do you stay strong under pressure?
What are ways that you can avoid sending sexts if you don’t want to?
Healthy communication is vital to a healthy relationship. Please take some time to read the following steps in order to engage in healthy, respectful and equitable dialogue.
1) Keep your cool
Learn what calming strategies work for you. Take the time to cool down before engaging in conversation.
– take deep breaths
– count to/from 139 (or another random number that works for you)
– go into another room
– think of soemthing that makes you happy
– walk away
2) Ask ?’s
Honestly and unaggressively ask questions to learn more about the situation. After hearing your partner’s prespective, you may come to the conclusion that the situation was a misunderstanding.
3) Find out about feelings?
Try to understand how your partner feels about the situation at hand. Make sure you express your own feelings. Make sure to use “I statements” to express your emotions.
“I feel (insert your specific emotion) when you (insert the specific action). Could you please (suggest positive solution to the problem)?
Ex. “I feel embarrased when you repeatedly call me when I’m out with my friends. Could you please call less, if you know I’m busy“?
4) Work towards a solution
Once you’ve expressed yourself and have also learned of your partner’s emotions, work together to figure out a mutually beneficial solution.
Everyone has “hot buttons,” some people call these pet peeves. These are the things that make you angry whenever you feel, see or hear them. These things irritate you or get under your skin in ways that can make you angry.
not saying thank you –
someone chewing with mouth open –
feeling ignored –
misogynistic music videos –
What are your hot buttons?
If you recognize your own hot buttons, you’ll be better prepared to control your anger.
Remember: Anger is one important feeling we have. You will probably feel angry towards your partner at some point–that’s okay. How you deal with that anger, though, can make a difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy one.
excerpt from Peers Building Justice
Youth Violence Prevention Curriculum
February 22: Join PBJ this Friday as we particpate in an event hosted by The Studio Project at BMoCA (Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art). The event will begin at 7 pm and will include discussions, activities, food and a film screening. PBJ will be providing Dating Bingo!
The current installation, Museum of Broken Relationships, is incredibly relevent for TDV Awareness Month.
Art Lounge #3: Love on the Reel
Friday, February 22, 7-9pm
Created by and for junior high and high school aged youth, Love on the Reel will feature films by local teens and art-making based on healthy relationships and sexual awareness. Meet a local filmmaker and take part in Teen Open Wall, a pop-up exhibition/art exchange. Created by BMoCA’s Studio Project in collaboration with S.H.A.P.E.
Sponsored by The City of Boulder Youth Opportunities Program, The Georgie Fund at The Community Foundation, and the Luff Family Fund.
See you then!
5:00pm – Saturday, February 23rd
Out Boulder’s BOLD Youth Program, in collaboration with Bent Lens Cinema, proudly presents the premiere of the youth films made during BOLD’s Fall 2012 Director’s Journey Youth Filmmaking Project! This year we have a wide variety of wildy creative youth films! Please join us as a community for this very special evening! This portion of the evening is FREE and open to all!
**some content may be inappropriate for folks 12 & under. contact B. for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org / t: 720 248 8183
Here are 3 things you can do to get involved this month:
The color for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is orange. Wear orange out to events this February and take time to talk with people about TDV and why you are choosing to wear orange. Let those who ask know that you are wearing orange in order to endorse healthy relationships within our communities.
2.Write a post on Facebook
Whether it is from friends or news pages, a lot of us get our news and updates from Facebook. A really powerful tool this TDV Awareness Month is your Facebook wall! Take a few minutes to learn more about TDV and write a short post; letting your friends know why it’s important to learn more about how TDV affects our communities.
If you would like to learn more about TDV and its affects on our communities please frequent our blog, as we will be uploading information on TDV as well as ways to engage in healthy relationships that are filled with equity, love and respect.
MUSEUM OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS
February 14 – May 26, 2013 Please join us for the opening reception on February 14, 2013 – Valentine’s Day.
In a throwaway consumer society, where everything is disposable, upgradable, and replaceable, items that remind us of past relationships rank particularly low on our personal value scale. The common response or advice for dealing with a breakup is to dispose of everything that reminds us of the other person and to get over him or her as quickly as possible, with the fact that the relationship did not last taken as self-evidence that this was not “the right one.” But as more and more people experience several significant relationships during their lifetime, with second and third marriages becoming increasingly common, we begin to acknowledge that our expectations and needs change as much as we do as we live longer, more educated, and self-determined lives. Simultaneously, the notion that the person we spent part of our life with was just “the wrong one” and should be erased from our memory becomes less plausible.
This Valentine’s Day, let’s make sure everyone knows they deserve a safe and healthy relationship – no matter who they are or who they love. If you need help, loveisrespect is available 24/7. You can visit loveisrespect.org or text “loveis” to 77054.
Below is some information we just received from our friend b. mann at BOLD. This sounds like a really great project to be a part of!
Brought to you by Out Boulder in collaboration with Boulder High School:
LGBTQ & Allies:
Talking Circle & Art Project for Teens
• Talking circles: express yourself in a safe space. We will be
discussing bullying issues in BVSD and beyond!
• Collaborate and Create a Zine (a DIY magazine): Bring talking circles
into action using art, writing, and creativity! Help create a youthdriven
guide to anti-bullying!
• Project will meet Saturdays, February 16-March 16, 12-4 at the
Out Boulder Pride House, 2132 14th St. Snacks will be provided.
Questions? email@example.com 720 248 8183
Open to High-school aged students, LGBTQ and Allied.
Be the Change.