• One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • 85 % of domestic violence victims are women.
  • 62% of Teens (age 11-14) who have been in a relationship say they know friends who have been verbally abused (called stupid, worthless, ugly, etc) by a boyfriend/girlfriend.
  • 13% of teenage girls who said they have been in a relationship report being physically hurt or hit.
  • More than 1 in 4 teenage girls in a relationship (26%) report enduring repeated verbal abuse.

Besides the roses and the rainbows and the love stories, there is the dark side of the moon, unfortunately. Statistics can keep going on, pointing out the seriousness of the situation.

In the birth of every love, there are expectations from both sides. They try for the best. Sometimes they succeed in creating a good relationship, sometimes they don’t. Nevertheless, not all affairs are meant to succeed even if the people involved have the best intentions. The turning point in all these situations is the dignity and the understanding towards the other half. If you are a healthy person and, let’s say, for example, that the affair ends , you will feel – of course – disappointed about the ending, you will grieve; but that’s life my friend.

You fall, you learn, you fly again.

But if you find yourself in a position where your opinion is not respected or cannot be expressed in a proper manner, your needs are not understood even though you express them constantly, you are mistreated either verbally, sexually or physically -or all of the above- then you are experiencing a dangerous affair that you have to terminate in a blink of an eye!

Besides all the above, there are some tell-tale signs showing an abusive relationship. We tend to look past some types of abuse as they are not apparent on the surface. That does not make them less traumatizing, nor does that make them less “effective” than physical abuse. They are silent killers; they tear you apart from within and shown no sign to the outside world. Verbal and psychological abuse is just as serious.

If you seem afraid or anxious to please your partner, if you go along with everything he or she says, if you receive frequent, harassing phone calls or you are checked on often -an atypical interrogation; where you are and what you are doing- it’s time to think twice. Ask yourself; does your partner criticize you, ignore you or put down your opinions or accomplishments? Does he or she see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person or even act excessively jealous and possessive? Are you terrified each time they come close to you? Are you more afraid of what will come next during your sexual encounters than turned on? If the answer to all or some of these questions is yes, then take a step back and reconsider.

Even if you are not the one experiencing the problem or you know that someone close to you is having it talk to the person in private and let him or her know that you’re concerned. Listen him or her and offer your help. Do not pressure, judge or wait for him or her to come for help.

I do not have a great epilogue for such an issue. Only one question to ask. Do you deserve all this?

The answer is NO! You do not deserve this. You deserve kindness and love, understanding and privacy, emotional support. You deserve to have your feelings and experience acknowledged as real. You deserve encouragement, respect and to live free from criticism and judgment. If you do not have such things around your relationship, I suppose is the time to get out of there and seek the love you worth!

Because you deserve only the best…

Never forget that!

Safe Voices; Working to end domestic violence

Author: Chris Kokkinelis

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