View Poll Results: Have you ever been in a verbally, physically or emotionally abusive relationship?
yes 20 71.43%
no 8 28.57%
Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

Preventing Abuse in Relationships A Survey

This is such an important issue ladies. I am trying to do some light research on this topic because I am considering writing a book for young women about recognizing the signs and keeping themselves immune from attracting violent men. If any of you would like to help me out, please answer some of my survey questions. You can pm me if you'd like. Thanks.

Have you ever been physically, verbally or emotionally abused by a man? Please specify which type of abuse?

How did you know it was abuse?

Did he ever show signs in the beginning of your relationship that hinted that he was an abusive man?

Did he ever try to control you? If so, how?

Did he shower you with gifts initially to gain your affection?

Did he ever try to isolate you from friends and family?

What attracted you to him? What attracted him to you?

Briefly describe your relationship with your mother and father throughout your lifetime?

Were you going through a bad time emotionally when you attracted him?

How was your self esteem when you attracted him?

Did you ever end the relationship?

What gave you the strength to get out?

Are you in a healthy relationship now?

What did you learn about yourself from this relationship?

What did you learn from men based on this relationship?

How would you describe your self esteem now?

What would you want other young women to know about dating a man who has the potential to be abusive?
Have you ever been physically, verbally or emotionally abused by a man? Please specify which type of abuse?
-Yes, emotionally and sometimes verbally.

How did you know it was abuse?
-I knew because I had learned the signs many years before. He had a way of making me feel dependent on him as well as worthless - classic abusive combo.

Did he ever show signs in the beginning of your relationship that hinted that he was an abusive man?
-Yes. He would tell me how I was *supposed* to act, dress, etc. He was extremely judgemental of others who didn't support his ideology, but at the same time, he was hypocritical (ex. if I wore a sexier shirt, I was a slut, but if someone else wore it, she was "so hot.")

Did he ever try to control you? If so, how?
-Yes. He would let me go out with friends, but interrogate me when I returned. If I didn't answer my phone (pre cell), he assumed I was doing something wrong and would give me the silent treatment.

Did he shower you with gifts initially to gain your affection?
-Yes. He gave me a diamond ring after two months of dating, and gave me very extravagant gifts on birthdays, etc. He would bring flowers or my favorite food very often as a surprise.

Did he ever try to isolate you from friends and family?
-Yes. As stated before, he wouldn't let me go out with friends without giving me some kind of emotional bs afterwards. He didn't like my brothers very much because we are so close and they're not like him.

What attracted you to him? What attracted him to you?
-Beginning of college, new place. I found comfort in having someone there that put me first. It was a transition time for me, and having him there was very comforting. I'm not sure what made him attracted to me. I'm his type, I guess.

Briefly describe your relationship with your mother and father throughout your lifetime?
-My relationship with my mother was always great. We are exactly the same person, just 25 years apart. This was, of course, difficult (we had bad days and would get in each others way), but for the most part she is everything I strive to be. We can laugh, shop, eat together and time flies - we have a blast Since I'm the only girl, my father has a bit of difficulty relating to me. We don't really talk about ourselves to each other, but when we hug, we can know each other without even saying anything. My family is pretty close.

Were you going through a bad time emotionally when you attracted him?
-Yes. I had broken up with a high school sweetheart because of going away to college, and we met three months later. It was a hard time because of the transition of having to be with people my own age (most of my friends at home were much older) and feeling isolated.

How was your self esteem when you attracted him?
-Not very good.

Did you ever end the relationship?
-Yes. Three years later, I decided (seemingly out of the blue) that the relationship wasn't working for me.

What gave you the strength to get out?
-I spent the weekend in DC with my mom. She had a 25 year college reunion and I was checking out the doctorate program at that school and another one that was close by. While she went to do her thing, I spent the weekend taking the bus around, going shopping, walking, etc. I got two job offers when I was there and had a great time. Both the ride there and back were the most important and best conversations that I've ever had with my mom. Being there and getting info about the schools, jobs, internships, and my independence in general allowed me to see that I could grow and thrive on my own, and he was just holding me back.

Are you in a healthy relationship now?
-Yes. We are able to balance each other out, and talk about things that bother us. We crack jokes when we're upset with each other and it works out well. He is the least jealous person I've met (if people compliment me semi-hitting on me, he'll join in with them). He's protective, secure, and has lived a fun and interesting life so far. He's wonderful.

What did you learn about yourself from this relationship?
-I learned that I don't need anyone to complete me. I am a strong woman who can really do her *****. I know that being in no relationship is much better than being in a bad or unfulfilling one.

What did you learn from men based on this relationship?
-Nothing, other than some are good, some bad. You have to pick the one that's right for you.

How would you describe your self esteem now?
-Very high. As I said above, I feel like I can do anything I put my mind to. I'm learning how to rebuild car and boat engines, I joined my first team (billiards), and I'm learning all about baseball (I'm an NFL and college basketball fan). These are things that I'm loving because I'm able to step outside of my box to do things I wouldn't normally do.

What would you want other young women to know about dating a man who has the potential to be abusive?
-Trust your instinct. You're probably right. The biggest sign is when someone tries to change you. You have to be yourself, and not let anyone tell you otherwise. Do not sever relationships with friends or family because of a romantic interest.

*The swear above can be replaced with "stuff"

Thanks for your reply Munchy. Do you think that a book for younger women about preventing violent relationships is needed, or do you feel the market is already saturated enough?
You might also become familiar (if you aren't already) with www.endabuse.org - the Family Violence Prevention Fund's website. This is a large organization that promotes research and education about domestic/intimate partner violence.

There is a lot of literature out there, but I'm sure you could find some niche for your book. This is a topic near and dear to my heart, and although I've never been in a physically violent relationship, I have done several years of crisis advocacy counseling and shelter work. If you'd like some other resources, feel free to contact me. (Although I'm about to move, and will lose my internet until Tuesday.)

Good luck,
Danielle
I think a book that is intended as a supplement to a unit in, perhaps, health class for middle school kids would be useful. I don't think many young girls would actually go out and purchase a book about abusive relationships unless they have a reason to - this is not preventative.
I do feel that parents and schools should explain in more detail what constitutes an abusive relationship and how to tell the warning signs.

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