Avoid Abusive Relationships

Vincent Gray, Staff Writer

Perhaps you too have heard friends exchange harsh words, or share a harmful secret about the other; where does that behavior cross the line?

Teens webMD reports that 9%  of teenagers experience abuse within romantic/sexual relationships; this does not account for the harmful platonic relationships people can be in.

How would one gather sufficient evidence on such a topic, as many people are not educated on what abuse can look like, and many would be hesitant to label a friend as manipulative or abusive.

The term ¨toxic¨ has been floating around for a while now, and I see many of my peers using it to describe the unhealthy behaviors of friends or once were friends, yet still hesitate to call it as it is, abusive.

I don’t believe every careless joke, or cruel inside joke between friends is the equivalent to abuse, and I recognize crude humor is often a form of bonding between friends. I too, have some rather uncouth and boorish behaviors that sometimes present when around my close friends.

There is however a point when things can be taken too far, or are ill-intended; we must not forget our words have meaning.

Warning signs of an abusive/toxic relationship include humiliation/embarrassment, belittling, consistent putdowns, etc. To read more visit the website linked at the end of this article. Sometimes it may be unclear as to weather or not what one is experiencing truly is a toxic or abusive behavior.

I would like to now point out that not all people who display these toxic/abusive behaviors are inherently bad people. Sometimes people do harmful things from a place of their own insecurity and hurt, however it is important people also recognize that these behaviors are not okay and need to be confronted. I recognize it can be challenging to say something when people are being hurtful, especially when they are a friend or partner, that is why Centennial High School offers support to its students.

Students can speak to the school counselors, and nearly any security in the building about their issues, if you are a CHS student who feels like you’ve found yourself in a toxic relationship you can speak to these people to problem solve and resolve the issue.

If you are not comfortable telling a security guard or counselor, consider you favorite teacher or another trusted adult. However keep in mind that teachers and centennial staff are mandatory reporters and any abuse that crosses the line of physical or sexual must be reported to parents or the state.  Please don’t let that deter you from seeking the help you need, and know that getting help/support does not make you weak.

Remember yourself first.

To read more on the warning signs of an abusive relationship visit: https://psychcentral.com/blog/21-warning-signs-of-an-emotionally-abusive-relationship/