When do you experience violence in a relationship?
Do you experience violence when…
… you regularly have bruises because your partner* hits you?
… your partner pressures you into sexual acts that make you uncomfortable?
… your partner’s hand slips from time to time?
… the partner regularly yells at you when he doesn’t like something you’ve done?
… the partner threatens you or blackmails you?
… the partner wants to determine how you should look, what clothes you should wear and how you should be?
… the partner is constantly jealous and wants to control where you go, what you do and with whom you write messages?
… you have the feeling that you are not allowed to be yourself because it would make your partner angry or get on his nerves?
The answer is yes.
And not only if the above examples all apply together, but also if only one of them applies.
Violence has many faces.
Just as true love can be expressed in a heartfelt kiss, in a hug, through a selfless act, or even just eye contact, violence in relationships comes in many different forms.
And just as love is always love, violence is always violence – no matter how it is expressed concretely.
Getting out of a violent relationship can be very difficult. After all, you chose your partner because you love them and because you trust them. But this trust and this love can be abused. And they can lead you to protect people and their actions, when in fact YOU are the one who needs protection yourself.
The “Violence Meter” was created to help victims recognize the extent to which their relationship is shaped by violence. It is a tool that should enable one to evaluate one’s own relationship using concrete examples.
Protecting yourself, your life, your desires and hopes; putting yourself first and no longer glossing over your partner’s actions can be hard – but no one needs to take this step alone. There is help. And it is worthwhile to accept it.
Victims who experience violence – of whatever nature, whether physical, sexual, or psychological – can call 20 60 10 60 or email [email protected] for information about support and assistance services. The police can intervene if there is an acute threat, and friends, family and acquaintances can stand by one if asked.
No one should deal with violence alone.
From November 25, 2021, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, to December 10, 2021, the Human Rights Day, there will be a whole series of events that address the issue of violence as part of Orange Week. The full program can be found on the CNFL website.
* For better readability, the generic masculine is used in the text. However, all genders are always meant. Violence can affect anyone.