The darker side of Valentine’s Day
Later this month I’ll be interviewing the writer of Kiss Kill, a novel about relationship abuse where the abuser is the female and the victim is a 16 year old male.
In the lead up to Valentine’s Day you might be planning to send an anonymous card to the seductress with amber eyes, surprise your husband with flowers, or just have couple time away from the kids. Take a moment to think about the people in your life who might be trapped in a troubling relationship. It might be your best friend, your daughter or even your son.
Some of the most hurtful experiences in life are inflicted upon us by the people we trust (or trusted): the people we are in relationships with.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines the noun ‘abuse’ as:
- the improper use of something
- cruel and violent treatment of a person or animal
- insulting and offensive language
An abusive relationship is ‘characterized by habitual violence and cruelty’.
Many people sadly don’t realize that they are victims or don’t believe they are worthy of better treatment.
Before you book that romantic dinner, perhaps you could sweeten it by being there for the person who really needs your love and support. If you suspect something is wrong, it probably is.
If you’re the victim, please seek help. You are unlikely to find support from the abuser’s friends or family so look to your friends and family (if you trust them) for help. Government and charitable agencies often have free counselling services that you can utilize. No one can help you if you keep your suffering a secret.
Here’s some advice from LoveIsRespect.Org on How to Best Avoid an Abusive Ex.
“Don’t be a victim this Valentine’s Day” is an inadequate slogan for a serious issue. Get help. Give help. It’s better to be wrong about someone’s situation than to be guilty of neglecting the chance to change their life for the better.
If it’s a child or teenager that you suspect is being abused, for goodness sake, SPEAK TO THEM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE IN PRIVATE SO YOU DON’T RAISE THE SUSPICION OF THE ABUSER.
If you are a child or teenager being abused know that you deserve better. It is not your fault and this should not be happening to you. I can’t speak for countries other than Australia but if you live elsewhere try speaking to your school counsellor (if you trust them) or a government help line where you can speak anonymously about your options. If you live in Australia one of the places you can seek help is called Kids Helpline which is FREE to call from landlines and payphones. Some calls are free from mobile phones.
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
They’ll answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
They also have web counselling but currently it’s not available all hours of the day. You can find out more here:
If you are over 25 and an Australian resident you can seek help from Lifeline: 13 11 14
You can find out more here: http://www.lifeline.org.au/
Love is patient; love is kind
and envies no one.
Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude;
never selfish, not quick to take offense.
There is nothing love cannot face;
there is no limit to its faith,
its hope, and endurance.
In a word, there are three things
that last forever: faith, hope, and love;
but the greatest of them all is love.