Home | Newsletter | Current Happenings | Merchandise | Donations | Presentations | Contact Us
 

Dating Violence:

What are your rights in a relationship? You have the right ....

To express your opinions and have them respected
To have your needs be as important as your partner's needs
To grow as an individual in your own way
To change your mind
To not take responsibility for your partner's behavior
To not be physically, emotionally or sexually abused
And you have the right to break up and fall out of love with someone and not be threatened

Are you being abused? Ask yourself these questions....

Are you frightened by your partner's temper
Are you afraid to disagree
Are you constantly apologizing for your partner's behavior
Do you have to justify everything you to just to avoid your partner's anger
Does your partner put your down, but then tell you they love you
Have you been hit, kicked, shoved or had things thrown at you
Do you not want your family and friends to see your partner's jealousy
Have you been forced into having sex
Are you afraid to break up because your partner has threatened

Are you being abusive? Ask yourself these questions...

Do you constantly check on your partner and accuse them of being with other people
Are you extremely jealous
Have you hit, kicked, shoved or thrown things at your partner
Do you constantly criticize or insult your partner
Do you become violent when you drink or use drugs
Have you ever threatened your partner
Have you forced your partner to have sex with you
Have you ever threatened to hurt yourself if they break up with you

Sexual Violence

32% of rape survivors are between the ages of 11 and 17

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault includes any kind of physical contact of a sexual nature that a person does not consent to (agree to). It includes rape, but it can also include kissing, touching and fondling. Force includes physical force or emotional manipulation. It's rape even when:

- both people know each other and agreed to go out on a date together
- both are drinking or using drugs
- they have had sex before or are dating

Be clear, many people believe that acquaintance rape results from miscommunications about sex that is based on some old patterns. In the past, women have been expected to say no at first, even when they intended to have sex with someone. Therefore, some men may believe a woman means yes, even when she says no. To overcome potential misunderstandings, both partners need to know their sexual limits. Both need to express these limits clearly to each other.

Always trust your feelings about the situation you are in!!

Self harm:

Self- injury (self- harm, self- mutilation) can be defined as the attempt to deliberately cause harm to one's own body and the injury is usually severe enough to cause tissue damage. This is not a conscious attempt at suicide, though some people may see it that way.

It has been reported that many people who self- injure have a history of sexual or physical abuse, but that is not always the case. There are many factors that could cause someone to self- injure as a way to cope.

Self- injury can help someone relieve intense feelings such as anger, sadness, loneliness, shame, guilt and emotional pain. Many people who cut themselves, do this in an attempt to try and release all the emotions they are feeling internally. Some people find that dealing with physical pain is easier than dealing with emotional pain. Usually after self- injury is used, the person is left with a peaceful and calm feeling. Since these feelings are only temporary, the person will probably continue to self- injure until they deal with the underlying issues and finds healthier ways to cope.

Suicide

In the United States, Montana has the second highest suicide rate, behind Nevada.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15-34 year olds

Eating Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa: a severe, life-threatening disorder in which the individual refuses to maintain a minimally normal body weight, is intensely afraid of gaining weight, exhibits a significant distortion in the perception of the shape or size of his body, as well as dissatisfaction with body shape and size.

Behavioral Characteristics:

- excessive dieting
- preoccupation with body building, weight lifting or muscle toning
- compulsive exercise
- frequently weighing self

Emotional and Mental Characteristics:

- intense fear of becoming fat or gaining weight
- depression
- social isolation
- low sense of self-worth

Physical Characteristics:

- low body weight
- lack of energy
- muscular weakness
- thinning hair or hair loss

Bulimia Nervosa: a severe, life-threatening disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating followed by self-induced vomiting or other purging methods (e.g., laxative, diuretics, excessive exercising, fasting) to prevent weight gain.

Behavioral Characteristics:

- recurrent episodes of being eating
- lack of control over eating
- recurrent purging to prevent weight gain
- hoarding food, hiding food or eating secretly

Emotional Characteristics:

- intense fear of becoming fat or gaining weight
- works hard to please others
- strong need to be in control
- feelings of worthlessness

Physical Characteristics:

- weight fluctuation
- loss of dental enamel due to vomiting
- constipation
- lack of energy

Binge Eating: a severe, life threatening disorder characterized by recurrent episodes or compulsive overeating or binge eating. In binge eating disorder, the purging to prevent weight gain that is characteristic of bulimia nervosa is absent.

Behavioral Characteristics:

- recurrent episodes of binge eating
- eating much more rapidly that normal
- eating large amounts of food when not hungry
- eating until you feel uncomfortably full

Emotional Characteristics:

- feelings of disgust, guilt or depression during and after overeating
- binge eating, often triggered by uncomfortable feelings
- perfectionist
- disgust about body size

Physical Characteristics:

- heart or blood pressure problems
- joint problems
- abnormal blood-sugar levels
- difficulty engaging in physical activities

Tips for talking to a Friend Who May be Struggling with an Eating Disorder:
If you are worried about your friend's eating behaviors or attitudes, then it is appropriate for you to express your concerns to him/her in a loving and supportive way. It is important to handle these issues with honestly and respect. It is also important to discuss your worries early on, rather than waiting until your friend has endured many of the damaging physical and emotional effects of eating disorders. In a private and relaxed setting, talk with your friend in a calm and caring way about specific things you have seen or felt that have made you worry.