Leave this site now

What is this?

Dating abuse hotline: 866-331-9474

The Stuff that’s Hard to See

By AnnaBeth Crittenden, Berry College (17c)

I really love Netflix. It’s really embarrassing and kind of a bad habit, but it’s so convenient to have a sitcom playing in the background while you do your homework. I just finished Gilmore Girls (I’m obsessed) and I’m now watching Parks and Recreation (because Amy Poehler is life).

But in my long history of watching TV shows and movies on Netflix, something began bothering me: the relationships. Now, I’m all for love and romance in TV shows; that’s why it sucks that so many of these movies and TV shows glorify emotional abusive relationships.  

Have you noticed that in many of these shows, the guy stalks the girl, or puts her down, or humiliates her and she goes back to him?!? That’s not okay! In fact, that’s emotional abuse.  

Whoa, hold on AnnaBeth…what even is emotional abuse? And how does it relate to these sitcoms you keep talking about? And what’s your favorite TV show?

I promise, I will answer all of your questions.

What is emotional abuse? Simply put is any act that can diminish the sense of someone’s identity, dignity, and self-worth. These acts can include yelling, mocking, threats, intimidation, and humiliation. And, since these acts are usually paired with loving words and gentle control, it’s hard to tell if the relationship is actually abusive.

Honestly, emotional abuse is one of the harder forms to define. But it all boils down to one thing: if your relationship is making you feel worthless, or powerless, or guilty that you spend time apart it might be time to take some steps away.

Let’s look at how this unfolds in some famous movies and sitcoms.

  1. Friends

Let me start by saying, I love Friends. It’s one of my absolute favorite TV shows and Chandler is my spirit animal. But, we’ll leave Chandler out for a couple minutes. I want to talk about Ross and Rachel. I know that they are one of the most famous couples (and on TV Guide’s Best TV Couples of All Time), but even from the beginning of their relationship, Ross showed some signs of emotional abuse.  In season 3, Ross gets jealous. Rachel is gaining more success in her life and work and Ross can’t handle it.  

He starts attempting to control her communication, he tries to keep her away from work, he shows up to her office (while she is working) to remind her of his presence. This is not okay! And, even worse, his jealousy and possessiveness continues even when they’re not in the relationship.  But, at the end of the series, per rom-com rules, they end up together and Ross’s jealous behavior is never addressed.

  1. Gilmore Girls

This is another show I absolutely love. I relate so much to Lorelai Gilmore (in fact, I’m currently sipping on my own cup of coffee). But we need to talk about Rory’s first boyfriend, Dean. He is portrayed as the “nice boy” and the “perfect first boyfriend.” And that’s super dangerous because he is not the perfect boyfriend. He actually shows several signs of emotional abuse.

There’s one episode where Lorelai goes away for the weekend and Rory has the house to herself. She plans the dream night of doing laundry, watching TV, and eating takeout (sounds like a dream, right?).  But Dean doesn’t see it that way. Instead, he gets angry with Rory, basically demanding that she hang with him instead of having a night to herself. And when she asks him not to be mad he says, “I’m confused, but I’m not mad. I’m a saint, but I’m not mad.”

Ummm…so Dean’s a saint for letting his girlfriend spend an evening away from him? Really?

Throughout their relationship, Dean also will routinely call Rory all the time, even to the point where he leaves her 10 voicemail messages. This constant control and constant need to know a current location is not a good sign.

  1. Twilight

First of all, is Twilight even a thing? I don’t even know anymore. But, even if it’s not it is probably the PRIME example of an emotionally abusive relationship. I mean, the man literally stalks Bella, watches her while she sleeps, and attempts to control her EVERY move. And somehow, about 7 years ago it was one of the most cherished and popular love stories. People, you do not want a man to love you like Edward. Don’t fall for a man who tries to control your life and convinces you that you’re nothing without him.

When we constantly see these relationships in the media, we will start to validate them when we see them in our real lives. No relationship should be focused on control; instead, there should be a constant conversation between both people involved.

What other emotionally abusive relationships have you seen in the media? Leave your answer in the comments!

P.S. My favorite sitcom right now is Parks and Rec. What’s yours?


It’s Your Life, You Decide


This is YOUR LIFE. Plain and simple. YOU DECIDE how it’s gonna be.

What kind of person are you? How do you handle emotions? How do you treat the people around you?

Rewind for a minute, back to elementary school (ohmygod, you’re so old). Okay, seriously…Was there a kid that was considered the “token” bully? The kid who always tried to be intimidating…always sneered at teachers or always had some damn sarcastic something coming out of their mouth? Unfortunately, most every school has one or more. Maybe that person was picking on you…or maybe that person was you. But I have to tell you, that there are options other than the “bully” and the “bullied”. You can be the one who sees. Here comes the metaphor 😉 —->You can be the one who sees the trees for who they are, inside, and why they act that way on the outside. But you also see the forest around those trees; you see how it has affected them and you see how it is affected by them. Look at you! Thinking deep and rising above 😉

What I mean by this is…

Sometimes people act like D-bags (bullies). And instead of considering why they may be doing that, we immediately react: “Dude, that guy sucks! Why do they have to act like that? Somebody needs to kick their…” …and so on…But you asked the right question, WHY do they act like that?

And here is where the cycle starts:

You will never ever truly know Everything that is going on in a person’s life.

Check it out:

Studies have shown that victims of bullying have displayed certain responsive characteristics, like: 

Low Self-esteem

Difficulty Trusting Others


Difficulty Controlling Anger

The thing is, these are also characteristics of a “bully”. Coincidence? Nothing is coincidence, guys, this is a cycle. Sometimes when a person has been negatively affected or mistreated by another (whether it be their parents, siblings or friends) or they have pent-up emotions that they aren’t sure how to deal with, it all comes out in the form of “bullying”.

Now, this doesn’t mean that it’s totally okay for people to be D-bags; I’m telling you this so that you can protect yourself from ever being bullied or becoming a “bully”. Because if you should allow yourself to be the “bully” or the bullied, the cycle says that you may be more likely to find yourself in an abusive dating relationship. Don’t let that nasty cycle get to you, You are a See-er!

Comment below and tell us, have you been bullied? Or caught yourself in the act of “bullying”?

If you’re not sure, here are some things that may have been happening:

Physical Bullying: hitting, kicking, pinching, spitting, damaging property etc.

Verbal Bullying: name calling, insulting, racist or homophobic jokes, sexually suggestive comments etc.

Cyber Bullying: basically any type of verbal bullying, through e-mail, texting, phone calls, social media etc.

Or even Indirect Bullying: spreading rumors or nasty gossip, exclusion from social groups etc.

If you are being bullied, and you’re not sure what to do:

1. Remember, you are a see-er. Clearly that guy has issues, and they don’t have to be yours.

2. You can choose to laugh it off, walk away or speak your mind in a clear, logical, concise manner that tells them that their issues aren’t your problem. BUT DON’T BE A D-BAG!

3. Let an adult know that so-and-so is clearly going through some things and they’re taking it out on other folks. Hopefully, that adult can help you and so-and-so.

4. Just keep your distance. It’s not cowardly to choose not to be in that person’s company; you have better places to be and better energy to absorb.

5. Keep your passwords to social media and online outlets to yourself. Plus, nobody needs to know about the word-sandwich you created using you and your cat’s names…just keep that one 😉

So, take care of yourself…and other people. After all, we all kinda live in the same forest.

Leave us a comment, we like words 🙂








Metaphors Rock & Boundaries are Cool

Hello lovelies!

It’s been a while since we talked, so this conversation is definitely long overdue!

Welcome to 2016, BTW! I hope your new year is treating you well 🙂

So, in case you didn’t know, it’s Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM)!!..right now, in February. Since of course, TDV is our area of expertise, now is the perfect time to talk about it! If you have browsed our lovely website (you so should!), you have, no doubt, read up on some positive and negative aspects of a dating relationship.

Making sure you know what is COOL and NOT COOL in a relationship is why we’re here.



…And so on….

What I want to talk about right now is, when enough is enough…when the NOT COOL has gone too far, for too long.

How many of you have gone out with a guy or girl much much longer than you should have? If you haven’t, then I’m sure you know someone who has. That’s the thing, we either have, or we know someone who has stayed with somebody long after an unhealthy line was crossed. And seriously, this happens so much more than you think.

1 in 3 teens is a victim of physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse from a dating partner. It’s common, you guys.

So, I want to tell you a story. I found this story in Amanda Palmer‘s book, The Art of Asking. It was passed on to her at a young age by a very wise man, and it goes like this:

A farmer is sitting on his porch in a chair, hanging out.

A friend walks up to the porch to say hello, and hears an awful yelping sound coming from inside the house.

“What’s that terrifyin’ sound? asks the friend.

“It’s my dog,” said the farmer. “He’s sittin’ on a nail.”

“Why doesn’t he just sit up and get off it?” asks the friend.

The farmer deliberates on this and replies:

“Doesn’t hurt enough yet.”

Yes, the story is a metaphor….Humans are beautiful, magical, charming and so smart…but we humans are also strong willed and stubborn. We tend to let the time and the pain drag until it crosses that invisible line in our minds. We all do it, really. But a relationship is not the place or time to wait until it hurts beyond ‘enough.’

 So, how can you determine whether or not your partner has gone too far? Only YOU know when your safety and your spirits are being compromised by your relationship. One of the best things you can do is to set boundaries. Setting boundaries doesn’t mean you’re distant, or uncommitted, or mean; it just means that you know what you are and are not comfortable with. If you aren’t comfortable with getting intimate with your boyfriend/girlfriend, then tell them. If you need some alone time to read or think or dance around in your underwear and sing into your TV remote microphone, then make sure you make that clear (of course you don’t have to tell them about the underwear romping). But the point is, set those boundaries. Maybe even take a minute to think on it, and jot down what is COOL and NOT COOL for you; you may uncover some things you hadn’t yet realized.

Don’t forget, it’s okay to let your partner know those things; if they are a healthy match for you, they will respect your boundaries. And please remember that despite our human condition to wait until it hurts ‘enough,’ it can be dangerous and debilitating to sit on that nail, because ‘enough,’ in an unhealthy situation, will usually translate to, too much.

Know when your lines are being crossed. Respect your partner and make sure they’re doing the same for you. Stay healthy, stay COOL.

Oh and…Leave us a comment about your experience with setting boundaries…how were they received by your partner?



Love Doesn’t Hurt: Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

By Colleen Curlee, LTD PR Intern

Isn’t LOVE what February is supposed to be all about?

The month where love is in the air and happy relationships abound free and beautiful. What is your definition of love? Does it encompass romance, friendship, and trust? Does it involve being happy and satisfied in a relationship where you feel supported and encouraged? Of course it does.

So why is it that…?

  • Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year
  • One in three adolescents in the U.S. a victim of physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner
  • Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse
  • 81% of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or don’t know if it is an issue

So we’re taking steps to change this.

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and we are determined to change perceptions of love and dating for teens in the Rome area. We’ll be doing blog posts each week this month to give you the knowledge and inspiration you need to stop TDV from happening, and to help those in abusive relationships redefine love for themselves.

So what do we mean when we say Teen Dating Violence?

Officially, it is defined as “a pattern of behavior that includes physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse used by one person in an intimate relationship to exert power and control over another.”

TDV is not an isolated incident.

It is a cycle that takes time to recognize. This is what makes it so dangerous. Have you ever used a helium tank to fill up a balloon? When you first turn the gas on, the balloon immediately puffs up and begins filling with helium. After a moment or two, the movement slows down as the balloon gradually takes on more gas and continues filling up. If you’re not careful, you won’t notice exactly how large that balloon is getting until you finally overload it with gas and it pops – with all the gas exploding outwards. TDV works in a similar cycle that we’ll explain in greater depth throughout this month. The cycle of hurting and power will continue until someone refuses to handle the pressure anymore, with the explosion becoming dangerous and painful for everyone involved.

So, why should you care?

Because TDV can occur anywhere, at any time, and over every medium of communication from social media, to face-to-face conversations, to text messages and phone calls. It could happen to your best friend, your sister, your brother, and even the strongest person you know.

And in 2012, Georgia was ranked first in the nation for having the most incidents of teenage dating violence.

So here’s our challenge to you:

Assess your relationship throughout this month. Encourage a friend to read this blog and decide to assess his or her relationship together. Consider the difference you can make by educating yourself on the warning signs of TDV and by knowing your resources for it you ever become uncomfortable in a relationship. Together, we can stop teenage dating violence in Rome, GA. Look for our next blog post to learn more about the warning signs of teenage dating violence and get on the path toward love that doesn’t hurt.

Share your story and journey with us by using #lovedoesnthurt

Alt text here