Module 6: Domestic and Dating Violence
Recognizing an abusive relationship
Abusive relationships happen to college and even high school students, both male and female. In some cases, these relationships have fatal consequences. The good news is that high school and college students are well-positioned to end these relationships before they turn violent. The key is recognizing the signs that your partner will eventually turn to violence.
Obviously, if someone early in a relationship touches you in a violent manner, you should at a minimum end the relationship. Immediate physical violence in a relationship, however, is atypical. Abuse is often preceded by a campaign to condition the victim for later abuse. Some of the signs of this campaign include:
Abusers may attempt to justify these actions as “wanting to just be with you”, “wanting to take care of you”, or “loving you too much”. The truth, however, is that none of these actions are healthy in a relationship, and may well be the precursor to and even worse relationship involving physical abuse.
Escaping an abusive relationship
If you are in an abusive relationship, you should take immediate action for your own safety and the safety of your friends and family. Some suggested courses of action include:
Abusive relationships get worse over time. Your abuser will almost certainly make every effort to convince you to stay in the relationship. Most abusers are very good at finding reasons to convince you to stay in the relationship, either through attempting to elicit sympathy from you, blaming you for the abuse, threatening physical or emotional consequences if you leave, or other means. If you stay in the relationship, your abuser will take this as a sign that you are willing to take more abuse. The sooner you end an abusive relationship, the safer you will be.
Following this module, invite students to stand and learn how to escape using the windpipe strike. Be very careful to apply pressure gradually and not strike when students are practicing on each other or you!
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