There are times when abuse or cruel behaviour happens between husbands and wives or boyfriends and girlfriends. This can be confusing because this person is the one who is supposed to care for you. It may even be happening between your parents and not to you directly. If this is happening in your home or love relationship it is called intimate partner violence.
What are the signs? You may be in an abusive relationship if your partner or lover:
- Calls you names, insults you or constantly criticises you.
- Physically beats, injures or assaults you.
- Controls your finances.
- Expects you to ask for permission before taking any action – large or small.
- Does not allow you to work.
- Monitors where you go and who you hang out with.
- Abandons you in dangerous or unfamiliar places when they are upset with you.
- Insists that you to dress a certain way.
- Says they will not give you what they used to give you if you do not give in to what they want.
- Forces you into sex or ignores your feelings regarding sex or protection.
In all these cases the abuser aims to control, frighten, intimidate, terrorise, manipulate, humiliate and/or injure you.
Making changes in an abusive relationship is not easy, because you may feel frightened or worn down. Think about what you can do to change the situation – even taking a small step can help, like telling someone you trust what is happening.
Need help for violence or abuse? Or do you know a teen in trouble? Call the 95 helpline under SWAGAA, 999 under Royal Swaziland Police, 9664 under the Ministry of Education and Training.