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Relationships: Is It Healthy?

**TRIGGER WARNING** Presentation includes rape vs. consent and abuse. Meant to be viewed in a safe place and in context. An introduction to dating violence & unhealthy relationships. All facts cited CDC.gov & LoveIsRespect.org JAMIEACUTTER@GMAIL.COM
by

Jamie A. Cutter

on 13 March 2016

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Transcript of Relationships: Is It Healthy?

Lasting Effects
Victims of violent relationships in adolescence are at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.

Being physically or sexually abused makes teen girls six times more likely to become pregnant and twice as likely to get an STI.

50% youth who have been victims of both dating violence and rape attempt suicide.
Lack of Awareness
Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.

81% of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue.

A teen’s confusion about the law and their desire for confidentiality are two of the most significant barriers stopping young victims of abuse from seeking help.
What If The Abuse Isn't Physical?
Unhealthy
Behaviors
Dictating what you say or do or who you see

Deliberately making you worry

Telling you who you can or can't spend time with

Pressuring you into having sex, (or having a type of sex you're uncomfortable with)

Cheating on you if you have agreed upon a monogamous relationship

Making you feel bad about yourself (physically, emotionally, intellectually)

Constantly/obsessively texting, calling, emailing
Why Stay?
It feels much more complicated than it is...
Relationships: Healthy vs Unhealthy
Dating Abuse Facts
1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.

1 in 3 adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.

1 in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a partner.

1 in 4 high school girls have been victims of physical or sexual abuse.

7 out of 10 of college students say they have been sexually coerced.
The Cycle of Abuse
Fear:
They may be afraid of what will happen if they decide to leave the relationship.
Believing Abuse is Normal:
If they don't know what a healthy relationship looks like they may not recognize that their relationship is unhealthy.
Fear of Being Outed:
If they're in same-sex relationship and have not yet come out to everyone, their partner may threaten to reveal this secret.
Embarrassment:
They may feel they’ve done something wrong by becoming involved with an abusive partner. They may also worry that their friends and family will judge them.
Low Self-esteem:
If their partner constantly puts them down and blames them for the abuse, it can be easy to believe those statements and think that the abuse is their fault.
Love:
They may hope their abuser will change. Think about it -- if a person you love tells you they’ll change, you want to believe them.
Social/Peer Pressure:
If the abuser is popular, it can be hard for a person to tell their friends for fear that no one will believe them or that everyone will take the abuser's side.
Cultural/Religious Reasons:
Traditional gender roles can make it difficult for young women to admit to being sexually active and for young men to admit to being abused.
Pregnancy/Parenting:
They may feel pressure to raise their children with both parents together, even if that means staying in an abusive relationship. Also, the abusive partner may threaten to take or harm the children if your friend leaves.
Distrust of Adults:
Adults often don’t believe that teens really experience love. So if something goes wrong in the relationship, they may feel like they have no adults to turn to or that no one will take them seriously.
Distrust of Police:
Many teens and young adults do not feel that the police can or will help them, so they don’t report the abuse.
Language Barriers/Immigration Status:
If they are undocumented, they may fear that reporting the abuse will affect their immigration status. Also, if their first language isn’t English, it can be difficult to express the depth of their situation to others.
Lack of Money:
They may have become financially dependent on their abusive partner. Without money, it can seem impossible for them to leave the relationship.
Nowhere to Go:
They may think that they have nowhere to go or no one to turn to once they’ve ended the relationship. This feeling of helplessness can be especially strong if the person lives with their abusive partner.
Disability:
If they are physically dependent on their abusive partner, they can feel that their well-being is connected to the relationship. This dependency could heavily influence his or her decision to stay in an abusive relationship.
So What IS Healthy?
RESPECT
Your partner respects:
you
your individuality
your choices
HONESTY
You and your partner are both open and honest about:
your relationship
your emotions
your goals
your past
your sex life.
BOUNDARIES
Your partner understands when you:
need to or want to study/do homework
need to or want to work
need or want to hang out with friends or family
need or want alone time

You can spend time without each other and still have fun.
SUPPORT and COMMUNICATION
Your partner supports you and your choices even when they disagree with you.
You can communicate your feelings without being afraid of negative consequences.
FACT:
LGBTQ individuals are just as likely to experience dating violence and abuse as straight couples.
FACT:
1 in 6 women have been sexually assaulted or raped.


FACT:
Men are also victims of abuse. They can be abused by women or other men. Men are even less likely than women to report rape or abuse.

JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE DOESN'T YELL NO OR FIGHT BACK, DOESN'T MEAN IT'S NOT RAPE!
under 18
drunk or on drugs
mentally unstable
It's NOT consent
if the person is...
scared or coerced
saying anything other than a resounding YES!!
It's NOT consent
just because...
you're in a relationship
you've done it before
they didn't say no
they were wearing that outfit
Remember:
No one is "asking for it" unless they actually ask you to do something to them with words!
"The weird part is that my sister didn't do anything. She just looked at him very quietly [...] That weekend my sister spent a lot of time with this boy. An they laughed a lot more than they usually did [...] They held hands and acted like everything was happy."
"After a few minutes, she stopped protesting [...] she was still crying. [...] 'He raped her, didn't he?' She just nodded [...] 'We should tell someone, shouldn't we?' Sam just shook her head this time. She then explained all about the things you have to go through to prove it, especially in high school when the boy and girl are popular and still in love."
What is rape?

Rape is an act of sexual intercourse with a person, whether or not they are the spouse of the perpetrator, under any of the following circumstances:
The person does not give consent
The person is unable to give consent.
The person is forced to consent.
The person is under the age of 18 years.
What is consent?
Consent is an agreement between people BEFORE they engage in any kind of sexual activity and DURING the act. Both people have to say “YES!” clearly and freely. In California, the age of consent is 18 and no one under the age of 18 can legally give consent to any sexual act.
What is "rape culture"?
Rape culture is a concept that links rape to specific attitudes and norms in a culture.

For example, in American culture, 1 in 5 female students are sexually assaulted by the time they graduate college, yet there has been little done to change this. There is also a tendency to blame victims of rape, women are often "slut-shamed," and the sexual objectification of women in media is common.
Local Resources:
Walnut Avenue Women's Center
303 Walnut Avenue in Santa Cruz
1-866-2-My-ALLY (24 crisis hotline)
http://www.wawc.org

Women’s Crisis Support - Defensa de Mujeres
233 East Lake Avenue in Watsonville
Phone: (831) 722-4532
Hotline: (831) 685-3737
http://www.wcs-ddm.org/

Safe Places in Santa Cruz:
http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=11398
LoveIsRespect.org
CDC.gov
* Contains some explicit language.
**Trigger
Warning**
Poem discusses
rape.
Full transcript