What are healthy relationships?
Although there is no specific law to define healthy or unhealthy relationships, Childline/NSPCC state,
‘In a healthy relationship someone shouldn’t try to control you. Controlling or threatening behaviour can be physical, sexual, emotional, financial or psychological. If your relationship doesn’t feel right, it may be time to end it.’ They further say that the six aspects of a healthy relationship should be:
- Good communication
- Mutual respect
- Being yourself
What is abuse?
The main kinds of abuse in relationships are:
- Physical violence
- Sexual abuse
- Coercive/emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
All of these lead to a lack of self-worth and self-esteem, as well as physically being hurt or killed. Many of these are classed as domestic abuse as frequently the abuser and the victim live in the same house. It very often also affects children who are living in the same household.
How prevalent is Domestic Abuse?
For the 12- month period to year ending March 2020:
The Crime Survey for England and Wales showed that an estimated 2.3 million adults aged 16 to 74, experienced domestic abuse in the last year (1.6 million women and 757,000 men)
In March 2020, it was recorded that there had been a 60% rise in the number of calls made to Domestic Abuse Services helplines. In the first fortnight of lockdown, 14 women were killed by their partners.
What are Soroptimists doing?
In 2009, the ‘Loves Me, Loves Me Not’ bookmarks were launched. Since then, over 90,000 have been distributed in schools, colleges and universities. They have also been used by probation and prison services, refuges and Domestic Abuse services. Soroptimists have had a presence at Freshers’ Fairs in various universities and colleges throughout Yorkshire which has given the opportunity to engage with students away from home for the first time. Bookmarks have also been given out to the public on Anti-Slavery Day, and on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and during the 16 Days of Activism. (see separate sections on these)
In 2016, with help from the expertise of young people in a Primary School, the Friends bookmarks were also launched. These helped children to understand about bullying, with one side (green) listing the aspects of good friends, and the other side (red) listing aspects of a not so good friend. These were followed in 2018 by teaching resourcepacks to accompany them, to go out to schools.
See also the following links: