It's Family Violence Prevention Month...
...the month of November has been raising awareness about family violence for 30 years. It is important that attention be put this topic as it is easily hidden behind the four walls of a home. Every day at Liberty Lane we work with the fall out from family violence and it's a tough, complex, and scary topic.
It is not that easy to recognize the signs of abuse early on in a relationship, so today we want to talk about how to recognize the characteristics of a healthy relationship. None of us have to be in a relationship to be whole, it is good to know yourself before getting into a relationship, and you don't have to commit to the first person you meet - you are allowed to have standards. Take time to figure out what your deal breakers are, for example: should your partner have a job? Are you okay to date someone with a criminal background - and if so, what do they need to do to demonstrate they have learned from their past and are moving on? What level of education do you want your partner to have? Do you want someone who likes the same things as you, or an opposites-attract situation? Dating to find a long-term partner is fun, enjoy yourself and don't put pressure on yourself to date for the sake of it.
YES, you can choose who you date, and yes, it's hard to let someone down if you don't like them, but you have to ensure your happiness and safety are important during the dating process.
Whether you are in a relationship or looking for one, here are some signs of healthy behaviours in a relationship for you to examine about yourself - and your partner:
-you can describe things you like about your partner, and they can do that about you.
-you are comfortable with each other, you don't worry about "setting the other person off".
-you both have friends and can spend time with friends without being made to feel guilty and not making the other person feel guilty.
-you work for your relationship (lust is one thing, love takes nurturing)
-you are excited to see each other
-your self-esteem is not challenged by your love for your partner
If you are worried about your safety in a relationship, please call any one of the free confidential family violence services in your community. In New Brunswick you can find your nearest support here: http://ow.ly/izGB3060AgX