Although it’s something we may not want to think of or talk about, it is important to understand what relationship abuse is and how to avoid it. It might sound silly for someone in high school to end up in an abusive relationship, but it’s actually quite common. 1 in every 3 adolescents will end up in an abusive or unhealthy dating relationship.
The most important things to recognize when it comes to unhealthy relationships are the red flags of abuse. These are the warning signs and behaviors that occur in a relationship that can be a way to tell if it has become or is becoming abusive. Red flags from a partner include things like gaslighting (when a partner deflects the consequences of something they did wrong onto you), manipulation, or trying to hurt your self-esteem. Paying attention to red flags serves us as a signal to let us know when it’s time to make changes in or leave a relationship.
Also, check out this website for great resources on how to recognize healthy or unhealthy relationships, as well as ways to help a friend who might be dating someone abusive.
Ultimately, it is important to remember who you are and your worth. When in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, it is easy to forget our value, or that we deserve better. No matter what your thoughts or partner may tell you, dating abuse is never okay in any form. You are worthy of being loved.
Stay healthy, chaps!
-Katie, Annie, and Ian