Intimidation/Threats/Sexual Coercion

Examples of Intimidation

  • Making you afraid by using looks, actions or gestures
  • Smashing things
  • Destroying property
  • Abusing pets
  • Displaying weapons

Examples of Threats

  • Making and/or carrying out threats to hurt you
  • Threatening to leave, commit suicide, report you to the police
  • Making you drop charges
  • Making you do illegal things

Examples of Sexual Coercion

  • Manipulating or making threats to get sex
  • Threatening to take children away
  • Getting your drunk or drugging you to get sex
  • Repeatedly making sexual advances after you've said no

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Peer Advocate Advice

You can’t control other people’s decisions and you’re not responsible for their actions. But you can make healthy choices for yourself.

Telling someone what to wear is controlling. And even if you have a disagreement, it shouldn’t become a screaming match.

If you or someone you know hears someone say they’re going to kill themselves, it’s time to get help. Contact a peer advocate at loveisrespect.org or a tell someone close to you, especially an adult.

You have the right to make your own decisions about sex and your partner shouldn't make you feel guilty about them.

Red Flags

When Kyle smashed his cell phone against the wall, when he pinned Sarah’s arm back and when he threatened to kill himself, those were all serious red flags of an unhealthy relationship.

Breaking things, getting up in your face, using strength to scare or hurt you, pressuring you to have sex or threatening self harm, are all dangerous and really scary things to do. They are also unacceptable.

It's Like My Relationship

If your boyfriend or girlfriend is using threats or intimidation to control you, consider the following tips:

  • Save the Threatening Messages, whether it’s on Facebook or a text message.
  • Tell Someone you Trust what's going on, whether it’s a friend, parent, counselor at school or anyone who could support you through this.
  • Consider Keeping a Journal or diary of events.

It's ok to care about someone and not want them to hurt themselves. If they're threatening self-harm and you feel like they might be serious, let them know there is help by giving them the suicide hotline number: 1-800-273-8255.

It's Like My Friend's Relationship

It can be hard to watch a friend go through something like this. It’s ok to tell them they deserve to be treated with respect. No matter what your friend decides, make sure they know you’re there for them no matter what.