Expect respect: working to end patterns of violence

By Ashley Wilson
Rise Above Violence

“Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that can include physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse or financial abuse (using money and financial tools to exert control). Some abusers are able to exert complete control over a victim’s every action without ever using physical violence or only using subtle threats of violence. All types of abuse are devastating to victims.

“Domestic violence is a pervasive, life-threatening crime that affects millions of individuals across the United States regardless of age, economic status, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ability, or education level.” — National Network to End Domestic Violence.

Rise Above Violence provides services to victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault ranging from crisis services, help with housing, legal advocacy and individual support. This is a majority of the services we provide, but we recognize that prevention work helps get to the root of the problem to ultimately begin to end patterns of violence. This is why Rise works hard in our youth violence prevention programs to teach about healthy relationships. 

#1Thing we can all do is model healthy relationships for our youth. We hope that children who don’t have healthy relationships modeled at home have great examples in their communities.

Part of the youth violence prevention is to contrast what healthy relationships look like versus unhealthy relationships. 

Signs of a healthy
relationship 

From Healthychildren.org:

• Respecting each other.

• Knowing that you make each other better people.

• Sharing common interests, but having outside friends and activities, too.

• Settling disagreements peacefully and with respect.

‘Red flags’ of unhealthy relationships 

From https://nnedv.org:

• Early in the relationship flatters you constantly and seems “too good to be true.”

• Wants you all to him or herself; insists that you stop spending time with your friends or family.

• Insists that you stop participating in hobbies or activities, quit school or quit your job.

• Does not honor your boundaries.

• Is excessively jealous and accuses you of being unfaithful.

• Wants to know where you are all of the time and frequently calls, emails and texts you throughout the day.

• Criticizes or puts you down; says you are crazy, stupid and/or fat/unattractive, or that no one else would ever want or love you.

• Takes no responsibility for his or her behavior and blames others.

• Has a history of abusing others.

• Blames the entire failure of previous relationships on his or her former partner; for example, “My ex was totally crazy.”

• Rages out of control with you, but can maintain composure around others.

If you are experiencing the red flags, you are not alone — there is help 24/7. Please call 264-9075.

Part of bringing awareness about domestic violence is sharing the statistics and information that help you identify violence in your own relationship or the relationship of others; it is also celebrating the healthy relationships. This week, we will be sharing on our Facebook and Instagram pages tips to keep relationships healthy in times of stress. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Rise Above Violence is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides 24-hour support and advocacy services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault or other forms of violence, serving more than 300 victims each year. Rise also works to eliminate violence through education for youth and our community. All programs and services are free and confidential, including emergency prevention education and empowerment programs. Visit www.riseaboveviolence.org for more information or call 264-9075 to talk to an advocate today.

This story was posted on October 16, 2020.