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Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Vagina Monologues at GMU

DASH would like to thank the superbly talented cast of George Mason University’s production of “The Vagina Monologues” for their fabulous performances of this intriguing show! We also extend our sincere appreciation to GMU’s Office of Sexual Assault Services and its director, Connie Kirkland, for sharing the box office proceeds with DASH.

Warning Signs – Control

DASH’s early warning signs are meant to guide you in determining whether your relationship is healthy. In this series of articles, we will explore each warning sign in more depth so that you will have a better idea about what each sign means and if you need to address a problem in your relationship.

Our first early warning sign of abuse is:

Control – He/she tells you what to do or how to act

Teen dating abuse is about control. It’s about your partner trying to control what you do, how you act, what you say. His/her control over you limits your personal freedom. There’s a fine line between expressing an opinion and requiring a person to act or do certain things. Telling the difference between an opinion and abusive behavior might seem easy, but sometimes it can be more difficult to interpret.
Abusive behavior follows a pattern; it happens frequently and is meant to make you question your own thoughts and feelings. It is meant to lower your self esteem. You may feel that you have to do things his/her way in order to keep the peace. He/she may challenge your ideas or actions telling you that the way you do things is “wrong”. Debating which is the better song or team or idea is something every one does, but if your partner insists that you think like he/she does your personal opinions are being limited . By questioning your ideas and thoughts, the abuser makes you vulnerable to his/her influence. After all, you just want to make him/her happy. You just want to show that you love them. When he/she confronts you, you feel that you can diffuse the situation by agreeing to do what he/she wants. This warning sign is a signal that what your partner is doing is not love: it’s control.

Warning Signs – Isolation

DASH’s early warning signs are meant to guide you in determining whether your relationship is healthy. In this series of articles, we will explore each warning sign in more depth so that you will have a better idea about what each sign means and if you need to address a problem in your relationship.

Our third early warning sign of abuse is:

Isolation – Keeps you from spending quality time with friends and family

Sure, it’s romantic and fun to spend lots of time together. You just want to be with each other and wrap yourselves up in each other. You don’t want to pay attention to anything or anyone else. It feels nice to have someone pay attention to you exclusively. This behavior can become abusive when one partner won’t let the other partner do anything with anyone else. If you want to hang out with your friends at the mall, or go on vacation with your parents, the abusive partner becomes jealous. He/she may complain that you aren’t spending enough time together even if you think you are. The abuser may convince you to quit your job, favorite activities or hobbies so you can spend more time together. After all isn’t that what being in love is all about?

What You Can Do to Help A Friend Who is Being Abused

What You Can Do to Help A Friend Who is Being Abused:
  • Say something. Lend a listening ear. Tell your friend that you care and are willing to listen.  Don’t force the issue, but allow your friend to confide in you at her/his own pace.  Never blame your friend for what is happening or underestimate her/his fear of potential danger.  Focus on supporting your friend’s right to make her/his own decisions.
  • Talk with a trusted adult (parent, teacher, guidance counselor, or clergy member). You cannot solve this problem for your friend. Talk with a trusted adult. They will be able to decide how to approach your friend, her/his family or your school to get the necessary help.