It happens all the time
You finally hook up with the One, and you’re in love. Or maybe you think you’ve found your BFF… Then wham—out of the blue—something hits you. Maybe it’s something subtle, like constant put-downs and threats that make you feel sad, scared and just plain bad. Maybe it’s a creepy feeling that your territory is being invaded big time. Or maybe it’s something really in your face—like a fist.
Understanding abusive relationships
No one ever goes looking for abusive relationships. But they happen all the time. And while women are more likely than men to be trapped in abusive relationships, men can be abused too. So can straight people, gay people and people of all races, classes and ages.
What to do when someone you love hurts you
Sticks and stones aren’t the only ways to hurt someone. Abuse can be physical, but it can also be verbal, emotional and sexual.
STOP—if you suspect someone you love has a violent temper or acts in ways that scare you.
LOOK OUT—for the same sorry mistakes that keep hurting your feelings and making you cry.
LISTEN—to your heart if you feel someone’s trying to make all the decisions or control you.
CALL IT QUITS—if you’re being pushed, shoved or forced to do anything that makes you uncomfortable.
Change is never easy, but it’s necessary to move forward. If you can’t help repeating unhealthy behaviors that you’ve learned in other relationships…or if you keep getting stuck on bad characters that always seem to hurt you in the end…it’s probably time to make some changes in your love life. Take a good look at yourself, and be honest about behavior patterns you see. Make a list of what you want in a relationship, and compare it to the relationship you have now. If you’re beginning to see a pattern you want to change, talk to your RA or contact the Health & Counseling Center and find out how to make healthier choices for you.
10 relationship rights you deserve
Remember: The best relationships are built on trust and shared values. No matter what kind of a relationship you are in, you can’t go wrong by standing up for these basic relationship rights.
Know the numbers
The Stockholm Syndrome
Some survivors of abuse get in so deeply they begin to identify with the person who hurts them. They lose their sense of judgment. They might even defend their abuser. This is called the Stockholm Syndrome—and it’s serious stuff.
If you or someone you know is being abused, or if you have questions about abuse in your relationship, contact the Health & Counseling Center or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).