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Relationships

The basics of any relationship is to support one another, to gain comfort from one another and to keep each other happy. And love is bringing out the best in one another.

Healthy Relationships

In a healthy relationship, the couple will work towards the relationship equally.

Healthy relationships consist of a system of checks and balances combined with equality, individually and compromises.

Unhealthy Relationships

Usually there is little compromise, forced inequality and your individually is taken away from you.

In an abusive relationship, one partner uses these goals against their partner as a way to manipulate them into doing what they want.

Abusers often use excuses such as:

"If you love me you would..." or
"You have to make sacrifices for a relationship" or
"it would really make me happy if ..."
Using these phrases does not come across as demanding and therefore can be hard to distinguish as what they really are, this is a way of taking advantage of you.

The cycle of abuse

The cycle begins with the green stage.

This is when both partners are happy with the relationship, which is loving and enjoyable.

Next is the yellow stage.

This is where there may be small arguments and the abuser may become frustrated with their partner.

The victim does their best to calm the abuser. They stay away from their friends and family to work on fixing the relationship.

The abuser nitpicks at the victim, yelling, screaming at them. Blaming them for everything.

The last stage is the red stage.

This is the shortest and most harmful.

It is based on one specific incident that leads to an explosion of anger.

The abuser may sexually, physically, mentally or psychologically harm their partner.

Some abusers may use a weapon, pull the victim's hair and publicly humiliate them.

After this stage the abuser will quickly return to the green stage again. They will bring flowers and declare their love. Say they are sorry and may seek outside help.

The relationship stays green for a while then the whole cycle starts over. When this cycle is in place it is very hard to break from.

The many types of abuse: What to look out for.

Physical Abuse:

  • Slapping, hitting, punching, kicking, tripping, pulling hair, holding down, choking, sitting on – these are all called physical abuse.

Emotional Abuse:

  • When your partner makes you feel belittled by something they say or do
  • Seeking to embarrass you in front of others and put you down
  • Making comments that imply you are stupid, do not look ok, do not dress well or that you are not as good as someone else
  • Criticising your friends and family
  • Builds from a one off comment, and can quickly build until your self-esteem falls and you start to believe what is being said about you.

Sexual Abuse:

Forcing you to do something sexually that you do not what to do.

  • This does not have to be rape to be sexual abuse
  • Getting you to do things for them that you are not comfortable with
  • Calling you frigid or abnormal if you refuse them and making you feel as though you are not being fair
  • Asking you to find someone else you will do what they want sexually, only because you won’t
  • They may say things like:
    “ If you really love me…”
    “ Everyone else is…”
    “ I love you so much…”
    “ There must be something wrong with you…”
  • Getting you to drink large amounts of alcohol or take drugs so you are no longer in control of yourself
  • Using emotional abuse to lower your self-esteem, and make you feel as though you’re lucky to have them.

Verbal Abuse:

  • Name calling, put downs, public humiliation and shouting
  • Sometimes people get upset and say things they will later regret. This is just part of being in a relationship. However if it happens again and again it is warning sign that you are in a cycle of verbal abuse.

Intimidation:

  • Scaring you into doing what they want
  • Making angry or threatening gestures
  • Using their physical size to intimidate
  • Standing in doorways during arguments
  • Out shouting you
  • Driving uncontrollably
  • Text bullying
  • Stalking
  • Smashing things
  • Verbal threats.

Getting Help

If you need help for yourself or someone else or you just need to talk about something that is worrying you, you can contact many different services.

Blenheim Police Station, phone: 03 578 5279

Picton Police Station, phone: 03 520 3120

Havelock Police Station, phone: 03 574 2011

But if you are involved in a violent relationship or see someone else being abused call the police on 111

Marlborough Women's Refuge and Sexual Resource Centre, phone: 03 577 9939

Domestic Violence Information Line, phone: 0800 456 450

Youth Line, phone: 0800 376 633

Lifeline, phone: 03 577 8668

You can also talk to:

  • Peer support counsellor at school
  • Your doctor
  • Your parents, grandparents, siblings and external family members
  • A Kaumatua
  • A pastor or priest
  • A good friend that you can trust
  • Your school guidance counsellor