Sometimes, a student's life closely resembles a master juggler on top of a tight wire, with an iPhone in one hand, texting and uploading pictures to Facebook. Throw in a relationship and the whole thing topples over and breaks into a million pieces. Stress can act like a slow-spreading cancer in a relationship: slowly affecting every aspect until the entire relationship is infected. Yes, you knew what you were getting into, but you may not be totally prepared to handle it. Here are some of our ideas:
All year long, our National Youth Advisory Board plans for this week and we're so excited you're here to celebrate with us! Don't forget to:
Wear Orange on Tuesday
Show that you support healthy relationships by wearing #orange4love on Tuesday. You'll be joining a nation-wide movement of young people. And don't forget to tweet, Facebook or Instagram pictures of you and your friends in orange!
Make the National Announcement Friday
Help make sure that everyone knows they deserve a safe and healthy relationship. Read the National Respect Announcement across your school's intercom, send it out to your friends or register for our Thunderclap.
Sexual Assaut Awareness and Prevention Month (#SAAM) is underway.
With nearly one in five women suffering sexual assault by the time they're through college, it's time we start talking about it.
One of the first steps to ending sexual assault is education about how to spot it.
Do you know the signs?
- 54% of young males say they couldn't recognize the signs of dating violence or sexual assault.
- 33% of young females say they don't know the signs of sexual assaut.
So what does sexual abuse look like?
It's not what we see on television with a stranger lurking in the bushes as night. Most who've experienced sexual assault knew the person. It happens across all genders, sexual orientations and financial backgrounds.
It includes any unwanted activity - kissing, rough or violent sex, refusing condoms - and can happen whether or not you've already had sex.
Last night’s episode of Teen Mom 2 was the second week in a row we witnessed dating abuse among one of the couples. This week, Jenelle and Gary’s fight escalated to the point of landing them both in jail.
Anytime someone punches, hits or strangles their partner, it’s abuse. Both Gary and Jenelle chose to engage in physical abuse in the fight. There is never a reason that an argument needs to escalate to physical violence.
Let’s look at what warning signs we can pick out from Jenelle’s re-cap of the night. Keep in mind each person is responsible for his or her own actions — neither person caused the other to act a certain way.
“The only thing wrong with our relationship is Gary has a worse anger problem than me.”
Kailyn and Javi weren’t the only people involved in the fight on Teen Mom 2 this past Monday. Even though they chose to remain silent during the argument, Kailyn's two friends played a role.
Whether we know the people involved or witness dating abuse in public, we become what is known as a bystander and as bystanders we have the responsibility and ability to diffuse a situation.
When the girls spoke about the fight afterward, neither told Kailyn her behavior was wrong. Instead they downplayed her actions saying it could have been worse.
As we talked about in the last post, Kailyn says she wants to change. The first thing she needs to do is take responsibility for her behavior. Her friends downplaying or justifying it doesn’t help the process.
So what can you do if you find yourself in Kailyn’s friends’ situation?
Don’t Mind Your Own Business
If you watched last night’s episode of Teen Mom 2, you witnessed a scene that involved dating abuse between one of the couples. It happened during an argument, when one of them grabbed the other by head.
The couple, Kailyn and Javi, have recently moved in with each other and are still adjusting to the stress that comes with it. In this particular argument, Kailyn was upset with Javi for not taking the couple’s two large dogs outside while she had friends over.
After yelling at Javi to take the dogs outside, she went into their bedroom, yelled some more and then grabbed or shoved Javi’s head. Contrary to what her friend says later on, ‘at least you didn’t punch him in the face,’ what Kailyn did is abuse and there are not different levels, only right or wrong.
After the incident, it seemed Kailyn was distraught about what happened and swore she would work to change.
Can Someone Change?
Possibly, but it’s not quick and it’s not easy.
New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith is no stranger to attracting attention both on the court and off. His Twitter pick up lines have made headlines, and now he’s taken it a step further and created a list of rules for anyone wanting to date an athlete:
1 – Always Be There For Them
2 – Accept The Fact They Are Always Busy
3 – Please Them When Needed
4 – Don’t Stress Them Out
5 – Support Their Decisions And Actions
6 – Be Their Number One Fan
7 – Massage Them When They’re Sore
8 – Don’t Nag At Them After Practice Or A Game
9 – Cater To Them After Practice
10 – Keep In Mind You’re More Important When You Can Prove To Them You Can Handle Everything They Do
11 – Motivate Them To Do Better
12 – Most Of All, Love & Be There For Them Even If They Don’t Succeed Or Fail, It’s When They Need You Most.
When it comes to relationships, athletes do not get to play by a different set of rules.
Break the Cycle policy intern Kirby shares the excitement felt yesterday as VAWA passed as well as what Campus SaVE means for you!
Today has been a crazy and exciting day here at Break the Cycle and loveisrespect!
First and foremost, the Violence Against Women Act, complete with Campus SaVE passed today.
The highest of fives!
For us it’s the result of lots of hard work, but what really matters is what this means for young adults everywhere, people like you!
Girls between the ages of 16-24 experience intimate partner violence at a rate almost triple the national average; and women on college campuses are among the most targeted for this violence. On a campus with student population of 10,000, 350 rapes are likely to occur annually.
Now with the new VAWA and Campus SaVE, college campuses are required to report their statistics on dating violence and stalking, as well as be clear about how the school handles cases of these crimes when they are reported.
And now you still see it.
If only there was a way to be able to send pictures or messages without having to worry about it coming back to haunt you later.
Say hello to Snapchat and Poke.
Most of you are probably already using one or both, as a way to send messages and photos only to have them disappear seconds later. It’s the answer to those embarrassing status updates or pictures we couldn't wait to share with the world and now regret.
There’s one catch.
Nothing ever fully disappears from the Internet. As quickly as someone can come up with a new way to keep things private, someone else can figure out how to share it.
Snapchat and Poke are no exceptions.
Check out some scary realities of how much "private" messages are spread around:
In the aftermath of the events these past few weeks, it’s important to remember that no one is above abuse.
Dating abuse happens across race, gender, wealth and background. No matter if someone is a famous athlete or a person in your class, there’s no way to predict if someone will or will not be an abuser or involved in an abusive relationship.
That’s why it’s so important to learn the warning signs and what to do if you or someone you know find yourself in an unhealthy relationship.
By now you’ve probably heard about what happened in South Africa at the home of paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius.
If you’re unfamiliar with the name, here’s a quick overview:
Pistorius rose to fame last summer in London as the first amputee to compete in the Summer Olympics.
He’s now back in the headlines as the only suspect in the murder of his girlfriend, Reena Steenkamp, which happened early Valentine’s Day morning.