BODHINI - Child Safety
Toxic relationships - moving forward
In view of the toxic relationship issues and inability of individuals in handling break up in relationships,we are seeing a growing number turning to violence at their partner or posting photographs and videos of moments in relationships as part of revenge pornography or threatening/humiliating the ex partner through social media.The following is part of a three series write up in dealing with heartbreak and moving on-to a better life.
Let memories stay beautiful instead of events destroying lives forward.
How to recognise a toxic relationship-
*You are expected to behave only as he/she wishes.
*If you do not obey,emotional blackmail follows.
*Restrictions are placed on where you go,what you do and whom you meet.
*Threats are alternated with emotionally trapping words of love.
*Checking your phone for calls,messages and social media presence.
*They will try and isolate you from family and friends.
*They suddenly pop up where you are.
*Using threatening words like,if you leave me,I will kill you and kill myself.
*Inflicting self harm,(cutting/wounding self), and sending the photo to you.
If you notice these signs in a relationship,do not be deceived into thinking it true love.Try and get professional(psychological)help for the person if you want it to work out. But recognize,understand,accept and move out gradually if the pattern continues.If not it could end up with you losing your emotional well-being and sometimes your life also.
How to walk away from a toxic relationship-
*Try and withdraw graciously and diplomatically.
*If the person you are dealing with is prone to anger issues,stay in safe spaces. Reach out for support and let them know via the phone about the break up.
*Do not argue,provoke and make the situation worse.
*Do not give them false hope.
*Once they know a break up is inevitable,do not go out with them alone,no matter what the threats or appeal.
*Stay calm. Do not give into fear.
*If they threaten you,try telling them calmly that things can get out of hand with unwanted reactions which will end up affecting even families concerned.
*If they threaten to upload your photographs online,do not give in.Giving in will only worsen the situation,taking you to worse spaces.
* If they continue to threaten you,reach out to the police.
* Take the support of people around you. It is the safe and smart thing to do.
How to deal with a heartbreak-
*Relationships are beautiful,but can end due to different circumstances.
*Accept that sometimes we have to let go of it for the greater good of both. Cry it out if you need to and give yourself space to heal.
*Believe that this too shall pass,that there are better things awaiting you on newer paths.
*Don't blame yourself or wish you could have done things differently.
*Have faith in yourself and in your strengths.
*Keep yourself distracted and active with friends,games,books,things that you are passionate about until the feeling of loss passes.
*Make no contact with the person concerned,else it will only reopen wounds and doubts and stand in the way of your healing and moving forward.
*Share your thoughts with a trusted person who will support and stand by you.
*After a few days of no contact,the pain will ease up. Until it does,make sure you focus on other things,maybe even travel.
*Do not jump into another relationship to heal the trauma of breakup. Stabilise enough to take right choices.
*Do not make the mistake of turning to drugs or alcohol or substances to lessen your pain.You will only end up destroying yourself and a chance for a better life ahead.
A note to parents-
* Support your children.
*Do not judge them.
*Do not label or blame them,they are going through a bad time.
*Be with them.
*Just as you would care for a bad wound after an accident,help them deal with the wound from within.
A note to friends-
*Don't make fun of your friends by saying that they got dumped.
*Be with them,support them.
*Make sure they don't do anything rash.
*Help them move on to better spaces and a beautiful life ahead.
* That is what true friends and friendship is all about.
Dealing with online threats / blackmail
*Reach out for support.
*Do not give into fear.
*Do not aggravate the situation.
*Do not delete possible evidence,like chats,photographs and videos.
*Train your mind to believe
-that it is not your fault.
-that if compromised photographs and videos of yours are posted online,it doesn't matter.
-that there are lots of people going through such situations and walking free.
-that giving into blackmail will only worsen the situation,no matter what they say.
*The perpetrators know that they will get into trouble if you take the proper action. So be confident about reaching out to the police.
*Reach out to the police they deal with such issues in a confidential manner.
*Life is to be lived well. Never in fear.
If a child talks about abuse
If a child talks about abuse : What protective adults need to know:-
Three quarters of children who are sexually abused do not tell anyone about it and many keep their secret all their lives.
Sexual abusers are more likely to be people we know, and could well be people we care about after all more than 8 out of 10 children who are sexually abused know their abuser. They are family members or friends, neighbors or babysitters and/or many hold responsible positions in society.
The closer the relationship between the abuser and the victim, the less likely they are to talk about it.
Children often show us rather than tell us that something is upsetting them so being aware of the signs is vital. However, children may give vague hints that something is happening.
Their information may not be clear and they may not have the words to explain what is happening to them. The way adults respond to this is vital to ensuring the child safety.
Respond with care and urgency
If you think a child is trying to tell you about a sexually abusive situation, respond promptly and with care.
The police and children social services have joint working arrangements for responding to suspected child sexual abuse.
They are experienced in this work and will deal sensitively with the child and family.
Believe the child
If a child trusts you enough to tell you about abuse, you must remember that they rarely lie about such things.
Although it may be hard to believe that someone we trust or care about is capable of sexually abusing a child, it highly unlikely that a child would deliberately make false accusations about adult-like sexual behaviours.
The pressures on the child to keep silent are enormous. It takes tremendous courage to talk about abuse.
A child claim that sexual abuse did not happen (when it actually did), or taking back a disclosure of abuse are common.
Sometimes the child account of what happened changes or evolves over time. This is a common pattern for disclosure and should not invalidate their story.
It is important that they feel supported.
Don't dismiss their claims or put them off talking about it.
If they are talking to you about it, don't get angry. Stay calm and steady.
If you get angry the child may think you are going to punish them. This will play into the hands of the abuser who warned the child not to tell.
Make sure the child knows you love them and that they have done nothing wrong, and keep telling them that.
The child will need to see that adults believe them and they are doing all they can to protect them.
Make sure the child knows they were right to talk about it and that you are glad they came to you.
Face the problem
When the abuse is known, adults must face the problem honestly, protect the child at all costs and place responsibility appropriately with the abuser.
Get help from professionals who can help guide you towards safety and healing.
Information on sources of help can be found on our get help or further support and useful links pages.
Do not despair
Children can and do recover from child sexual abuse.
It is incredibly difficult to hear that someone you love has been hurt in such a way but help to recover is available.
Helping to heal post sexual violence
-  Keep reinforcing the fact that it was not their fault.
-  Be there for them whenever they need support.
-  Different people have different reactions to trauma, some react, some internalize, some deny. Do not judge them.
-  Understand that withdrawal, anger, self harm outbursts, wanting to repeatedly talk about the assault are all a part of the process of healing. The victim is trying to make sense of what happened.
-  Make sure they get enough sleep and food.
-  Encourage them to go for counseling.
- Get them survivor stories, information on what they are going through.
-  Encourage each positive step they take.
- Show them good things to look forward to. Music, nature, books, friends.
-  Strengthen their belief in themselves. Reinforce their strengths.
-  Help them stay positive.
-  Be Patient.
-  Empower them.
-  Get them professional help, if needed.
Aftercare post sexual assault
- Move to a safe environment and seek support from someone you trust.
- Seek counseling against trauma.
- Sexual assault is never your fault. It is an act of aggression and the attacker is always at fault.
- Seek medical help for first aid and to rule out pregnancy, STD and other infections.
- Do not brush your teeth, use the toilet, wash or bathe after the assault until medico legal evidence is taken.
- Put the clothes you were wearing in an airtight plastic bag without cleaning them, so that evidence is not lost.
- Reach out for help immediately if someone threatens or blackmails you.
YOUR RIGHTS POST SEXUAL ASSAULT
- You have a right to free legal aid.
- You can file a complaint at any police station.
- You are entitled to a copy of the medical report.
- You can ask for a lady police officer.
- There is no time frame within which you have to file a sexual assault case.
- Nobody can force you to file a complaint if you do not want to.
- You can record the statement, in private, in front of the magistrate.
- You have a right to privacy so that your name is not revealed to the public.
- Your life is not to be defined by what other people make of it.
- If someone hurts you, it is because they have sick minds, not because of any fault of yours.
- You have a beautiful life ahead of you, it is not to be defined by sick minds.
- Living well is the best gift you can give yourself. Push yourself to do so until it becomes a habit.
- To start with, read books on self help, listen to music, watch movies that inspire you.
- Take care to avoid triggers that remind you of the occasion or pain till you are stronger. Any music, place or people that trigger off memories of the past is to be avoided for a while.
- Get help. Reach out, If there are people taunting or threatening you. People who threaten you are cowards who feed on your fear. The moment you break free of that fear, the perpetrator loses their control over you.
- Push yourself into doing things you love and are passionate about.
- Empower yourself with survivor stories, positive thoughts, law and self help books. Also pamper yourself mentally, emotionally and physically to make yourself strong.
- Good music, travel, books, writing, for different people it is different paths. Find your own and move forward.
- Just as we go to the doctor if our body is unwell, we need to seek support if our minds needs it. Do seek counselling support if you need to.
- It takes strength to become a survivor.
- You are strength, you are powerful