Copyright 2023 Marline E. Pearson
The image above conveys a reality about dating violence: emotional or physical harm—
even murder—doesn’t always pop out of nowhere one day. It can often be traced back
to earlier behaviors of disrespect.
It is important to expect and insist on being treated with respect from the start
of any relationship. And, it is never too late for a person to raise their bar for
behaviors they accept or for behaviors they engage in.
Awareness of disrespect and early warning signs can help reduce the risks
of getting attached to an abuser. Once attached, some abusers will do
anything—to the point of threats, injury, and even murder to keep a
partner from leaving.
Knowing as a young adult what a healthy relationship is, expecting
respect, kindness, and caring in all relationships, and assertively
drawing the line of respect is important. A go-slow and get-to-know-
first approach to relationships is a safer way to go.
Red Flags
List as many examples of disrespect and early warning signs of abuse as you can.
1. 4.
2. 5.
3. 6.
Safe Responses
Circle one example from above. What could a person say or do in such a situation to draw the line of
respect and move away from the situation toward safety and respect? Create an assertive (not aggressive)
response or action.
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