Pathways Family Support Centre
Working Together to end Domestic Abuse
Barnsley DV Group Registered Charity No: 1085073
It is difficult to understand why adults would hurt each other, but sometimes they do. This can happen with people who are married, who live together, as well as those who date. It can happen between a man and a woman, or between individuals who are the same sex (two women or two men).
Definition of abuse: Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual or economic. These types of abuse occur in relationships where there is domestic violence. It is because one person (usually a man, but not all of the time) is trying to control another person.
Physical abuse: can include hitting, pushing, choking, using weapons to threaten or actually harm someone or damaging property (such as tearing out a phone from the wall, crashing a car, tearing clothes, etc.)
Emotional Abuse: includes name-calling, threats (to hurt the partner, pets, children and other family members, or property), isolating the abused person from family and friends so that they can not spend time with others, constant criticism, and humiliation.
Sexual abuse: includes forcing someone to do something that they do not want to do (such as touching someone else, or being touched by another) or humiliation (such as being forced to go outside with no clothes on).
Economic abuse: includes controlling how money is spent. This is an example: some abusers will give their partners money for bills or groceries and demand to see the receipt and get the change. This makes it difficult for someone to leave a relationship if they do not have access to any money.
While there are many warning signs of abuse, here are 10 of the most common abusive behaviours:
1. A boyfriend or girlfriend who looks at your mobile or emails without permission
2. A BF / GF who isolates you from family or friends
3. A BF / GF who hurts you in any way
4. A jealous BF / GF who controls you, says who you can see, what you should wear, generally tells you what to do
5. A BF / GF who pressures you to use drugs or alcohol
6. A BF / GF losing his or her temper and blaming you for their behaviour
7. A BF / GF who calls you names, always putting you down and insulting or embarrassing you in front of others
8. Any form of physical violence
9. A BF / GF threatening to hurt others or themsevles
10. A BF / GF who demands to know where you are and who you’re with all the time
Hitting your girlfriend or boyfriend is a crime, just like robbery or rape, its against the law
Dating violence isn't an argument every once in a while, or a bad mood after a bad day. Date violence (relationship abuse) is a pattern of violent behaviour that someone uses against a girlfriend or boyfriend. Abuse can cause injury and even death, but it doesn’t have to be physical. It can include verbal and emotional abuse, such as, constant insults, isolation from friends and family, name calling, controlling what someone wears - and it can also include sexual abuse. It can happen to anyone, at any age, no matter what race or religion they are, no matter what their level of education or economic background. Dating violence also occurs in same-sex relationships.
Dating violence is a tough subject to talk about, and hopefully this information will give you some ideas on how to recognise abuse, who you could talk to or where to go for help. dating violence is also often seen as a 'women's' issue, so many young men may not feel comfortable dealing with it. We've tried to help change this by providing information for both young women and young men. If you're in a violent dating relationship, or if you're worried about a friend, this information is a good place to start finding solutions.
Hopefully, you and your BF / GF are treating each other well. Not sure if that's the case? Take a step back from the dizzying sensation of being swept off your feet and think about whether your relationship has these seven qualities:
Mutual respect. Does he or she get how cool you are and why? The key is that your BF or GF is into you for who you are — for your great sense of humour, your love of music, TV, books etc. Does your partner listen when you say you're not comfortable doing something and then back off right away? Respect in a relationship means that each person values who the other is and understands — and would never challenge — the other person's boundaries.
Trust. You're talking with a guy from French class and your boyfriend walks by. Do they completely lose their cool or keep walking because they knows you'd never cheat on them? It's OK to get a little jealous sometimes — jealousy is a natural emotion. But how a person reacts when feeling jealous is what matters. There's no way you can have a healthy relationship if you don't trust each other.
Honesty. This one goes hand-in-hand with trust because it's tough to trust someone when one of you isn't being honest.
Support. It's not just in bad times that your BF / GF should support you. Some people are great when your whole world is falling apart but can't take being there when things are going right (and vice versa). In a healthy relationship, they are with you through the good and bad times.
Fairness/equality. You need to have give-and-take in your relationship, too. Do you take turns choosing which new film to see? As a couple, do you hang out with your partner's friends as often as you hang out with yours? It's not like you have to keep a running count and make sure things are exactly even, of course. But you'll know if it isn't a pretty fair balance. Things get bad really fast when a relationship turns into a power struggle, with one person fighting to get his or her way all the time.
Separate identities. In a healthy relationship, everyone needs to make compromises. When you started going out, you both had your own lives (families, friends, interests, hobbies, etc.) and that shouldn't change. Neither of you should have to pretend to like something you don't, or give up seeing your friends, or drop out of activities you love. And you also should feel free to keep developing new talents or interests, making new friends, and moving forward.
Good communication. We all know how many different meanings the little phrase "no, nothing's wrong" can have, depending on who's saying it! But what's important is to ask if you're not sure what he or she means, and speak honestly and openly so that the miscommunication is avoided in the first place.
If you, or anyone you know is living with abuse and violence, you can try to get help (but you can’t force someone else to get help). If an adult is being abused, or is hurting someone else, they may not know that they can get help. There is help available for the one being abused (such as refuges, places of safety, legal assistance, counseling or support groups) and there is help available for the abuser (perpetrator groups). The adults involved need to be the ones to decide if they want to get help, though – its not the responsibility of the children who live with them. If a child is being abused, it is important to tell someone so that child can get help. Tell an adult you trust, or call Pathways Helpline 01226 249800 or Childline 0800 1111