LatinaLista — “It’s my fault. I make him mad.”
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard or read that sentence from young Latinas trying to justify the reason why their novios (boyfriends) gave them a black eye.
For these girls, it’s okay for their boyfriends to throw beer bottles at them or swear at them or push them as they accuse them of cheating on them just because they’re talking to other guys or want a night out alone with their girlfriends.
These boys’ actions clearly show that they see their girlfriends as possessions and have no respect for their feelings or that they are even people in their own right, not to mention, they have serious issues of their own.
For girls caught up in this kind of scary abuse, it’s not always easy to break from it – or even recognize it.
And it’s a lot harder to talk about it with someone. In fact, for the girl and her friends, the abuse may even be hard to recognize because they’re so close to it – especially if the guy is a “nice” guy but gets abusive when he’s drunk, alone with his girlfriend or has an unhealthy jealous streak.
Survivors of date abuse know all this, and some have finally gotten together to help other girls, and boys, recognize an abusive relationship for what it is and how to get out of it.
A new National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline is now available via the internet.
The web site offers real-time chat sessions so that participants can share their stories, and be helped in the process.
Knowing that abusive individuals are always “checking up” on their girlfriend/boyfriend, the site even contains a safety message.
The internet site and the telephone hotline are manned by trained peer volunteers.
Any Latina who puts up with abuse is not real lista (smart), but there is help now – and it’s only a click away.
Some signs to look for if you think you or tu amiga/amigo are being abused include:
Embarrass you with put-downs or gossip about you?
Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
Control what you do, who you see, talk to, where you go, or what you wear?
Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
Make all of the decisions?
Prevent you from working or attending school?
Act like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even deny doing it?
Force you to have sex?