At loveisrespect, we talk to a lot of teens and young people who are struggling with relationship issues. They might be going through a breakup, wondering if they should stay with their partner, or they might be experiencing abuse. Our advocates are often asked for specific advice, or what they would do in the same situation. It’s totally understandable to want to be told exactly what to do or how to handle a situation, but at loveisrespect, we’re very intentional about not doing that. Here are a few reasons why:
It can be so tough to watch someone you care about deal with an abusive relationship. Even more difficult is watching that person leave and return to their partner, time and time again. You might feel frustrated, angry or you may even feel like giving up on your friend or family member. These are all totally normal and understandable feelings to have.
But it’s important to remember that dating abuse is extremely complex. Leaving an abusive relationship is never easy, and it isn’t always the safest option. In fact, some studies say that survivors of abuse return to their abusive partners an average of seven times before they leave for good. That may sound unbelievable or unreasonable to a person who has never experienced abuse. But there are many reasons why a person might stay or return to their abusive partner. As frustrating as this may be, someone in a position to support a survivor can play a crucial role in the survivor’s ability to stay safe or even leave for good.
Did you know…
Every 98 seconds, another person experiences sexual assault. Women ages 18-24 are at the highest risk for sexual assault. We think this is totally unacceptable! (Statistics via RAINN.)
The high statistics for sexual assault and sexual violence continue to underscore the need for awareness and prevention work.
The good news is we can all help prevent sexual assault and sexual violence by raising awareness and providing education. And, the best way to prevent violence is to address its root causes and start shifting the social norms that perpetuate it. To do that, we need people from all backgrounds and communities to lift their voices and say “No More” to sexual assault!
By Heather, an advocate. This is part two of a two-part series. This post is for partners, friends and parents of bi+ folks. Read the first post for bi+ folks here!
There are a lot of harmful myths out there about bisexual people and bisexuality. If you love someone who identifies as bisexual, (or pan- or polysexual, hetero- or homoflexible, or Queer & non-monosexual), here are a few examples of the hurtful things they’ve probably heard at some point:
By Heather, an advocate. This is the first of a two-part series. This post is for bi+ folks!
Hey bisexual readers, we see you! March is Bisexual Health Awareness Month, so we want to talk about the health of your relationships.
If you’re bisexual (or pan- or polysexual, hetero- or homoflexible, or Queer & non-monosexual) it’s possible that your sexuality has caused some concerns or confusion in your relationship. (Sadly, bisexual women are more likely than any other group to experience intimate partner violence.) We’re here to tell you that none of this is your fault! Healthy relationships are based on trust, honesty, respect and equality. Everyone, of every sexual orientation, deserves that. No matter which gender you or your partner are, your bisexuality is valid.
All of us at loveisrespect are psyched to be celebrating our 10th anniversary! Ten years ago today, loveisrespect advocates took their first calls, and we have grown so much since then.
Since loveisrespect was first established as a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline (with support from Liz Claiborne, Inc.) in 2007, we have responded to more than 380,000 calls, chats and texts from young people, parents, teachers, friends and family members. In 2011, we launched the nation’s first text-for-help service for teens affected by dating abuse, with support from Mary Kay Inc. Vice President Joe Biden even visited our advocates to send the first text! Today, we continue to expand our outreach into communities across the United States and spread the message that Love Is Respect.
As we commemorate this milestone, we are so grateful to all of our supporters and partners who help make this work possible. We also want to thank the many brave survivors who have reached out to us over the years. Your strength, courage and kindness inspire us every day. Remember: we are always here for you!
by Sam Dylan Finch. Originally posted on Everyday Feminism.
I still remember the moment I came out as genderqueer to my then-partner. I was finally sharing a deep and important truth about myself: I was ready to transition and was overjoyed at the prospect of having my partner by my side.
But for him, my transition was threatening.
“I just wouldn’t find you attractive anymore,” he told me.
That was all he would say about the matter. My heart broke that day.
While his sexual preferences are his prerogative, he had failed to be supportive. That made me afraid to transition. I was afraid of being abandoned, afraid that I could not be loved as I was.
By Tatsumi Romano, loveisrespect National Youth Advisory Board member
[Trigger Warning: rape and sexual assault]
By now you’ve probably heard that Brock Turner, a former Stanford athlete, was found guilty for three counts of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster on campus on the night of January 17, 2015. Two students passing by tried to help the victim and had to tackle Turner to the ground as he attempted to run away from the scene. Despite the traumatizing assault of a woman who could do nothing to defend herself, Turner received a shockingly light sentence of six months in county jail, with the possibility of release after three months based on good behavior.
How’d they do it? How did Turner’s defense team manage to score such a light sentence for their Ivy League client?
This post was contributed by Kim, a loveisrespect advocate
“If I stay, I can save him.”
“If she loves me, she’ll change.”
“I need to save them from that relationship!”
Here at loveisrespect, we know there are many reasons why someone might stay in an abusive relationship. One common reason is wanting to help the abusive partner change, or believing you are the only one who can change them. Sometimes, family or friends may also feel this way towards a victim of abuse: like they’re the only people who can help. While it’s totally normal to want to help someone you love, there is no way to ‘save’ or ‘fix’ another person. Ultimately, all we can control are our own actions and attitudes. So, while we can offer our support, it is up to the individual to take the next step in the situation.
This post was written by Lauren C.
Being in a relationship should not mean you lose your right to privacy or your right to talk to whomever you like. But in an abusive relationship, an abusive person may isolate their partner from sources of support. This is often done by checking their partner’s call log and text history or denying their partner the right to a phone.
Reaching out for support when you’re in an abusive relationship is scary, especially if there are barriers to having a safe phone. If you are having trouble finding a safe way to communicate with others for support, below are some options to consider:
Loveisrespect is the ultimate resource to empower youth to prevent and end dating abuse. It is a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
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© 2016 – National Domestic Violence Hotline
This project was supported by Grant Number 90EV0426 from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The opinions, findings, conclusions and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This website is funded in part through a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any or its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this website (including, without limitations, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).