Browsing Tag:

abuse

  • Articles, Relationships

    The Art of Tolerance

    THE ART OF TOLERANCE

    By- Purnima Priyadarsini

    It hurts no matter what. It always hurts to be hit. But the question arises from the brimming pain in the soul, why me? The woman who was born to be your progeny should not be the one whose face you slap. She can roar the loudest, so don’t her cry in the darkest silence. Dead with fear inside, she still dares to live with fake expressions for you, she still thinks she is in love with you.

    A woman is not a prize won in a competition, nor is she an object to play with. Her tears are real, her screams are real, the bruises that cover her body are real, her pain is real. Still, she tolerates abuse because of faith she had once been shown, with the hope of kept promises once made to her. She suffers either pain or fear, but is it possible that she is still in love.

    Why is it that one in every 3 women is victimized and experiences pain in the name of love? Was it her fate or just a choice she made? A woman does not only suffer physical abuse, she is also exposed to mental, emotional, economical, and sexual abuse at the hands of her current or ex-partners. An abuser has many options, but women are left with no other option except to suffer.

    Now that conditions have worsened, we are realizing something needs to be done. It’s human tendency to wait for things to get worst. Exploitation has crossed all its limits, and an epidemic is impending. But, as the time itself says, it is never too late to take action. Every woman will roar not scream, she will be brave not scared. Her tolerance shall break its silence at the edges of injustice, and she shall know no fear. If she has taught herself the art of tolerance then it is only she who can teach herself to fight. She is important is all she needs to understand. She is a warrior in disguise, a lover with purest of the souls. how can she lose then when she herself is the truth?

  • Dating, Depression, School, Stress, TRENDING

    February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

    Girlspring is Supporting Dating Violence Awareness!

    February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month! Teen DV Month (sometimes called TDVAM) is a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships and promote programs that prevent it.

    Dating violence is more common than many people think.

    One in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults.

    Help us spread awareness and stop dating abuse before it starts!

    In February 2017, loveisrespect will be celebrating its 10th anniversary! So, we thought we’d get back to basics. Our theme for Teen DV Month 2017 is Love is . . . Respect. We’ll be talking about what respect means and why it’s so important in a healthy relationship – online and off. We hope you’ll join the conversation!

  • Body Image, Bullying, Dating

    Love is Setting Boundaries: When Boundaries Aren’t Respected

    In a relationship, both people have the right to set their own boundaries AND have those boundaries respected, no matter what. But what happens if someone crosses a line? How do you deal with it? Here’s what to consider if…

    …Your Relationship Is Safe:

    In a healthy relationship, open communication is crucial. If your partner does something that upsets you or makes you uncomfortable, you have a right to address it with them. If you don’t have any safety concerns and you feel like your relationship is in a pretty healthy place, having a conversation with your partner about a boundary violation could be really helpful. Depending on the situation, you can address it as soon as it happens, or you can take some time to think about what you want to say. It might even help to write down what you want to say before talking with your partner.

    For example, let’s imagine you and your partner are hanging around the house and your partner slaps your butt as you’re walking past. If that makes you uncomfortable, in that moment you could say, “Hey, I’m not ok with that,” and take your conversation from there. But if you and your partner are out to dinner with family and your partner does something that makes you uncomfortable, you might feel like it’s best to wait until the two of you are alone to bring it up. Either way, you do have a right to say something to your partner.

    When discussing the situation, use “I” statements (ex. “I feel this way when…”), and talk with your partner about why the boundary was crossed and any steps you can both take to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Being able to hold each other accountable is part of building a healthy relationship.

    …Your Relationship Might Not Be Safe:

    If your partner is repeatedly crossing your boundaries, they aren’t willing to discuss boundaries with you, or you notice that your partner is guilt-tripping you for even having boundaries, your relationship is likely very unhealthy and could become abusive if your partner’s behaviors continue and escalate.

    If you are in an unhealthy relationship and a boundary is crossed, having a conversation with your partner may not be a safe option for you. You do have the right to be firm and clear about your boundaries, because you always deserve to have your boundaries respected, but it is also important to consider your safety. You might talk to a trusted friend or family member or chat with a loveisrespect peer advocate, and try thinking about whether or not this is a relationship in which you can feel safe and respected. It’s important to remember that if someone doesn’t respect you, they won’t respect your boundaries, and vice versa.

    You might also consider documenting any instances of harmful or abusive behavior in case you decide to file a protective order or get legal help in the future. Having your thoughts or feelings written or saved somewhere where your partner can’t access them may also work as a reminder of times you were hurt or major boundaries were crossed, in case you ever start to question yourself or believe the abuse was your fault (hint: it never is).

    …Your Relationship Is Definitely Not Safe:

     

    Maybe you’ve realized that your relationship is abusive and your partner isn’t a safe person to talk to about your boundaries. What now? If your partner isn’t allowing for you to be safe, it might be time to consider leaving the relationship. Breaking up can be really difficult, especially when feelings are involved, and if your relationship is abusive breaking up might also be dangerous. You have a right to make your safety a top priority, so it’s important to have a plan in place for how you can break up safely or stay safe in the meantime. You might talk to someone in your support system about what’s going on.

    We recognize that your safety is the top priority and you are the best person to decide what is right for you. If you want to talk about your plan to stay safe whether you want to stay in a relationship or you feel ready to leave. To talk to an advocate, call 1-866-331-9474, text loveis to 22522 or visit loveisrespect.org to chat via our website 24/7!

  • Human Trafficking

    Two Types of Trafficking

    What is “Human Trafficking”?

    Human trafficking is the buying and selling of human beings for another person’s profit. This isn’t a little issue either. There are more slaves in the world today than at any other time in history. Approximately 27 million of them. Most importantly, the average age into trafficking within the US is 13-14 years old.

    Sex Trafficking

    Sex Trafficking is the sexual exploitation of one person, for another person’s financial gain. Victims are forced to perform sex acts against their will, and failure to cooperate leads to punishment. Street-based traffickers can force their victims to reach a nightly quota, anywhere from $300-$1000. Brothel based traffickers can force their victims into 6-10 sexual acts a day, 7 days a week.

    Labor Trafficking

    Labor Trafficking is forced work at facilities, businesses, or homes. Workers often live and work in terrible conditions and receive little or no benefits. Victims may be subjected to debt bondage to their traffickers so they believe they have to escape.

    THE VICTIM

    • Mental Manipulation

      Victims are brainwashed by their traffickers, distorting their realities. Victims are oftentimes fearful, anxious, depressed, and afraid of law enforcement and avoid eye contact with individuals.

    • Branding

      Pimps tattoo or carve their names into their victims

    • Poor Physical Health

      Victims are often unable to take care of themselves because of their abusive traffickers and lack of access to basic necessities. Victims can be malnourished and show signs of physical or sexual abuse.

    • Lack of possessions/payment

      Victims of trafficking have little or no personal belongings or resources

    • Restrictions

      Victims work long hours and are not allowed to leave or have breaks

    • Confusion

      Victims may not have a sense of time and location along with a basic lack of knowledge surrounding their whereabouts.

    THE TRAFFICKER

    • Psychological Manipulation

      Traffickers lure victims into trafficking by exploiting insecurities and those looking for a better life by promising jobs, relationships, and opportunities.

    • Physical Abuse

      Traffickers use fear and physical abuse to maintain control over their victims.

    • Many types of traffickers – According to the Trafficking Resource Center:

      • Brothel and fake massage business owners and managers
      • Employers of domestic servants
      • Gangs
      • Growers
      • Intimate Partners
      • Labor Brokers
      • Factory owners and corporations
      • Pimps
      • Small business owners and managers
  • Human Trafficking

    Common Myths and Misconceptions about Human Trafficking in the U.S.

    The following document summarizes some of the commonly-held myths and misconceptions about the definition of human trafficking and the types of human trafficking operations that exist in the United States. This document is intended to help clarify a more accurate portrayal of trafficking by correcting the numerous myths and misconceptions. The goal of the document is to help shape a “lens” for identifying and understanding trafficking that is not clouded by incorrect information. A “Top 10” List is provided below.

    Myth 1:

    Under the Federal definition, trafficked persons can only be foreign nationals or are only immigrants from other countries.

    Reality: The Federal definition of human trafficking includes both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals – both are equally protected under the Federal trafficking statutes and have been since the TVPA of 2000. Human trafficking encompasses both transnational trafficking that crosses borders and domestic or internal trafficking that occurs within a country. Statistics about trafficking, estimates of the scope of trafficking, and descriptions of trafficking should be mindful to include both transnational and internal trafficking to be most accurate.

    Myth 2:

    Trafficking is essentially a crime that must involve some form of travel, transportation, or movement across state or national borders.

    Reality: The legal definition of trafficking, as defined under the Federal trafficking statutes, does not require transportation, although transportation may be involved in the crime, and although the word connotes movement. Human trafficking is not synonymous with forced migration or smuggling. Instead, human trafficking is more accurately characterized as “compelled service” where an individual’s will is overborne through force, fraud, or coercion. Transportation or migration is less of a relevant consideration to the definition or for identifying trafficked persons.

    Myth 3:

    Human trafficking is another word for human smuggling

    Reality: There are many fundamental differences between the crimes of human trafficking and human smuggling. Both are entirely separate Federal crimes in the United States. Most notably, smuggling is a crime against a country’s borders, whereas human trafficking is a crime against a person. Also, while smuggling requires illegal border crossing, human trafficking involves commercial sex acts or labor or services that are induced through force, fraud, or coercion.

    Myth 4:

    Here must be elements of physical restraint, physical force, or physical bondage when identifying a trafficking situation.

    Reality: The legal definition of trafficking does not require physical restraint, bodily harm, or physical force. Psychological means of control, such as threats, or abuse of the legal process, are sufficient elements of the crime. Unlike the previous Federal involuntary servitude statutes (U.S.C. 1584), the new Federal crimes created by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 were intended to address “subtler” forms of coercion and to broaden previous standards that only considered bodily harm.

    Myth 5:

    Victims of trafficking will immediately ask for help or assistance and will self-identify as a victim of a crime.

    Reality: Victims of trafficking often do not immediately seek help or self-identify as victims of a crime, due to lack of trust, self-blame, or training by the traffickers. It is important to avoid making a snap judgment based on the first interviews and to be understanding that trust will take time to develop. Continued trust-building and patient interviewing is often required to get to the whole story.

    Myth 6:

    Trafficking victims always come from situations of poverty or from small rural villages.

    Reality: Although poverty certainly is highly correlated with human trafficking because it often is a factor of vulnerability, poverty alone is not a single causal factor or universal indicator of a human trafficking victim. Trafficking victims can come from a range of income levels and many may come from families with increased socioeconomic status.

    Myth 7:

    Sex trafficking is the only form of human trafficking.

    Reality: Elements of human trafficking can occur in both commercial sex acts but also in situations of forced labor or services. The broader concept of human trafficking encompasses both forms of what are referred to as “sex trafficking” and “labor trafficking,” and can effect men and boys in addition to women and girls.

    Myth 8:

    Human trafficking only occurs in illegal underground industries

    Reality: Elements of human trafficking can be identified whenever the means of force, fraud, or coercion induce a person to perform commercial sex acts, or labor or services. Trafficking can occur in legal and legitimate business settings as well as underground markets.

    Myth 9:

    If the trafficked person consented to be in their initial situation or was informed about what type of labor they would be doing or that commercial sex would be involved, then it cannot be trafficking or against their will because they “knew better.”

    Reality: A victim cannot consent to be in a situation of human trafficking. Initial consent to commercial sex or a labor setting prior to acts of force, fraud, or coercion (or if the victim is a minor in a sex trafficking situation) is not relevant to the crime, nor is payment.

    Myth 10:

    Foreign national trafficking victims are always undocumented immigrants or here in this country illegally.

    Reality: For foreign national victims, trafficked persons can be in the United States through either legal or illegal means. Although some foreign national victims are undocumented, a significant percentage may have legitimate visas for various purposes. Not all foreign national victims are undocumented.

    Article From: www.stophumantraffickingmo.com

  • Cutting

    How Can I Help A Friend Who Cuts?

    Be an Informed Friend

    Anna was wearing long sleeves under her soccer jersey again. She told Monica she was worried about getting too much sun. But when Anna raised her arm, Monica noticed fresh cuts on her forearm. When she saw Monica looking at them, Anna said something about losing a fight with her mother’s rose bushes.

    You’re aware that some people — both guys and girls — cut themselves on purpose. Could your friend be one of them? If so, what should you do?

    It can be hard to understand why a friend might injure himself or herself on purpose. Cutting — using a sharp object to cut your own skin on purpose until it bleeds — is a form of self-injury. People sometimes self-injure by burning their skin with the lit end of a cigarette, a lighter, or a match. Their skin won’t show cut marks, but it might show the small, round scars of a burn.

    Some people turn to this behavior when they have problems or painful feelings and haven’t found another way to cope or get relief.

    Most of the time, people who cut themselves don’t talk about it or let others know they’re doing it. But sometimes they confide in a friend. Sometimes a friend might find out in another way.

    Your Feelings

    It can be upsetting to learn that a friend has been cutting. You might feel confused or scared. You may feel sad or sorry that your friend is hurting herself in this way. You might even be mad — or feel like your friend has been hiding something from you. You might wonder what to say, whether to say anything at all, or if there is anything you can do to help a friend who cuts.

    It can help you to know more about cutting, why some people do it, and how they can stop. Sharing this information with your friend can be a caring act, and it might help her or him take the first step toward healing.

    Understanding why a friend may be cutting can help you be supportive. But what can you actually do to help your friend stop?

    The first thing is to be realistic about what you can achieve: As with any damaging behavior (such as alcoholism, drugs, or eating disorders), some people just may not be ready to acknowledge the problem and stop. So don’t put too much pressure on yourself — your friend’s problem could be a longstanding one that requires help from a professional therapist or counselor. Therapists who specialize in treating adolescents often are experienced in working with people who self-injure and can also help with other issues or emotional pain they might have.

    Ways to Help

    • Talk about it. You’ve asked about the cuts and scratches — and maybe your friend changed the subject. Try again. Let your friend know that you won’t judge and that you want to help if you can. If your friend still won’t talk about it, just let him or her know the offer stands and you are open to talking anytime. Sometimes it helps to let a friend know that you care. Still, even though you do your best, your friend might not want to talk.
    • Tell someone. If your friend asks you to keep the cutting a secret, say that you aren’t sure you can because you care. Tell your friend that he or she deserves to feel better. Then tell an adult in a position to help, like your parents, a school psychologist or counselor, or a teacher or coach your friend is close to. Getting treatment may help your friend overcome the problem. Your friend may be mad at you at first. But studies show that 90% of those who self-injure are able to stop within a year of beginning treatment.
    • Help your friend find resources. Try to help your friend find someone to talk to and a place to get treatment. There are also some good books and online support groups for teens who self-injure. Be careful, though: Although some websites offer useful suggestions about how to resist the urge to cut, the stories or pictures some people send in may actually trigger the urge to cut in those who read or see them. And some sites promote a sense of sisterhood or solidarity that might interfere with someone getting help. There’s nothing cool about cutting — beware of people or websites that suggest there is!
    • Help your friend find alternatives to cutting. Some people find that the urge to self-injure passes if they squeeze an ice cube in their hand really hard, draw with a red marker on the body part they feel like cutting, take a walk with a friend (you!), rip up old newspapers, stroke their cat or dog, play loud music and dance, or find another distraction or outlet for their feelings. These strategies don’t take the place of getting professional counseling, but they can help in the short run.
    • Acknowledge your friend’s pain. Let friends who cut know that you get what they’re going through by saying things like, “Your feelings must just overwhelm you sometimes. You’ve been through a lot — no wonder you hurt. I want to help you find a way to cope that won’t hurt you anymore.” Try to avoid statements that send the message you don’t take your friend’s pain seriously (such as “But you’ve got such a great life” or “Things aren’t that bad,” which can feel dismissive to a person who cuts).
    • Be a good role model. Everyone experiences painful emotions like hurt, anger, loss, disappointment, guilt, or sadness. These emotions are part of being human. Coping with strong emotions — instead of dwelling on them and continuing to feel bad — involves a few key skills, like knowing how to calm yourself down when you’re upset, putting feelings into words, and working out solutions to everyday problems. Be the kind of person who can do this and your friend will learn from you.

     

    Things to Avoid

    • Don’t deliver an ultimatum. The best thing friends can do is to be there for each other, accepting and supporting one another without judgment. Try to avoid issuing deadlines or ultimatums to people who self-injure (for example, don’t tell them you won’t be a friend if they don’t stop cutting). This strategy doesn’t work and it just puts pressure on everyone. Let your friend know that you’ll always be there to talk to.
    • Don’t accidentally reinforce the behavior . Among some people, cutting can have a certain mystique. If you’re concerned about a friend who cuts, don’t let your friend buy into the notion that the behavior is a sign of strength, rebellion, punk chic, or simply a part of his or her personal identity. Don’t reward drama with too much attention.
    • Don’t join in. A few people may try to get others to cut as a way to be part of the group or to seem cool. They might dare you or try to convince you to cut to see how it feels. Don’t let peer pressure pull you into doing something you know isn’t right for you. Someone who tries to pressure you probably isn’t a true friend after all.

     

    Note: People can stop cutting – although they may feel as if they can’t. IT’S NOT EASY. It takes courage and strength, and willingness to deal with the issues that got them started cutting in the first place.

     

    How Important Is It to Help?

    People who cut usually don’t intend to injure themselves severely, and cutting isn’t usually a suicide attempt. Most of the people who cut themselves say they don’t mean to die and that they know when to stop.

    But even when suicide is not the goal, cutting can still cause severe injury or death. People who self-injure risk infections, scarring, and shock (from blood loss), and they can die as a result of extreme injury or bad cuts that don’t get treated promptly.

    Without help, people who cut also may continue to feel socially isolated and depressed. People who self-injure may have other problems (such as eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, or severe depression) that require long-term professional care.

    By helping a friend address cutting problems, you may open the door for him or her to resolve other issues, too. The first step to getting help is usually the hardest.

    What If a Friend Rejects Help?

    It’s often difficult to help a friend who cuts. You may not see changes overnight, if at all. Some people aren’t ready to face what they’re going through — and you can’t blame yourself for that.

    Some people might not be ready to ask for or receive help with their troubles. You can encourage a friend to get help, but he or she might not open to the idea, at least not right away. You might need to be patient. Your friend could need time to think about what you’ve said.

    People react in different ways when someone tries to help. But don’t be afraid to try. Sometimes, honest concern is just what a person needs. By reaching out, you might just help a friend take the first step toward healing.

    Sometimes when you try to help, your friend might be angry or say you don’t understand. Or the friend might really appreciate that you care but still not be ready to accept help.

    It’s natural to feel helpless, worried, sad, or upset — especially if you feel you’re the only one who knows what your friend is going through. Sometimes it helps to confide in an adult you trust about the situation.

    It can be really hard when a friend just won’t let you help. But don’t take on the burden as your own or feel responsible for someone else’s behavior. Sometimes even the truest friend may need to take a break from an intense situation. Be sure to care for yourself and don’t allow yourself to be drained or pulled down by your friend’s situation.

    From: Teen Health