We live in a world where some believe we are only complete if we have a significant other. The danger of this thought is the idea that we need someone to complete us and that some individuals will stay with a significant other, despite the danger. We often think of relationship violence occurring in marriages and adults; however, it affects people of all ages, including teens.
Many adolescents in America will fall victim to relationship abuse. Not only does this abuse include sexual, but also physical, emotional, and verbal. According to SokyaHealth Coach Jessica Yaffa, relationship violence is a real hazard for adolescents. Our teens are at risk, and there are certain behaviors to consider when looking for relationship violence.
Dating violence takes many forms. Physical, sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse patterns are a part of dysfunctional relationships. Emotional abuse is most common among teens, with physical abuse only occurring in 10% of teen relationships. Another factor to consider is the terrifying statistic that one in three women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime.
While these are staggering statistics, we must remember dating violence is based around the idea of control. Luckily, there are ways to begin noticing problems in your relationships, and some of the first signs of danger include controlling behaviors.
Yaffa provides several behaviors indicating relationship abuse amongst teens and attempts to control the relationship and behaviors. These behaviors can indicate abuse in a relationship, not only in teens but at any age:
The idea of someone telling you where you can or cannot go is indicative of an abusive relationship. There should be no rules dictating where you can or cannot go in a romantic relationship. Also, when your significant other monitors where you are and whom you are with, this is another indicator of violence, albeit not what we would typically consider violent.
Monitoring and maintaining control of your whereabouts is a form of emotional abuse. You have the right to go places and the freedom to choose to go places. Your significant other does not have the right to control your movements.
Yaffa explains isolation as another control tactic. When your partner demands your free time to be spent solely with them, this isolates you from your friends and family. Isolation from others who care about you can limit your ability to see what is happening in the relationship and have other positive experiences. This isolation is another form of emotional abuse.
A wardrobe is personal because we each have specific ways of dressing that fit our personalities and how we want others to perceive us. When your significant other tries to limit your wardrobe and tell you what you may or may not wear, this is a form of control and emotional manipulation.
This world is busy, and our schedules are full enough without the need to tell our significant others every movement we make. There are some instances where this is normal and a method of keeping each other safe; however, a need to provide a regular update on your whereabouts can be manipulative.
In some relationships, when one does not provide this constant information or is unavailable, one's significant other may accuse one of cheating or engaging in other unwanted behaviors. Yaffa explains this as another form of dating violence.
Stalking does not just happen on television; it is a real and serious threat to the safety and well-being of victims. Stalking includes following, taking photos, standing outside your home, and calling you to see where you are. Stalking is related to a constant need to check in. Stalking occurs not only in current relationships but by others who are not in a significant relationship with you. Stalking can occur in person and online.
Healthy relationships do exist. Do not fear entering a relationship because of statistics or fear. Whether your joy comes from being single or having a significant other, you deserve happiness. A healthy relationship is comprised of trust, respect, and compromise. All persons in the relationship must accept the other and help with their needs. Respect is a critical component of a healthy relationship with others and yourself.
A healthy relationship is possible. Do not jump to conclusions, but question certain behaviors if you are worried about your relationship. Reach out for help. Do not let your relationship isolate you from others who love you. You are not alone.
Healthy dating relationships are possible. If you are concerned about your relationship or have questions about what makes a healthy relationship, you are not alone. Managing relationships in today's world can be challenging. Our coaches and therapists at SokyaHealth can help you navigate your needs in a relationship. We can also help you develop the skills and self-confidence to have the relationship you want or the self-confidence to remain single. You do not need to be in a violent relationship. A healthy relationship with others starts with a healthy relationship with yourself. At SokyaHealth, we can help you begin to build your well-being. We believe you deserve the best and are ready to help you find what is best for you. We offer virtual services for self-care, coaching, therapy, medication management, and even group support. Contact SokyaHealth today at (877) 840-6956 and start your journey to a better life.