*Trigger Warning* this blog addresses sexual assault…
April was Sexual Assault Awareness month, and even though it’s over we believe it’s always a good time to talk about consent. A couple weeks ago, Scream Queens actor, Abigail Breslin, opened up about being sexually assaulted by an ex-partner. It began when she posted a couple pictures to Instagram and disclosed a few details about the assault, including that she was in a relationship with the person who raped her.
We’ve heard these questions one too many times: sexual assault in a relationship? How is that possible? Aren’t you both on the same page if you’re dating? The concept of sexual assault within a relationship may sound totally strange, but the reality is that it can happen.
For the record, consent doesn’t change when you enter a relationship; everything about consent remains the same. Dating someone does not automatically give your partner consent, so there is never an obligation to say yes to your partner! Being in a healthy relationship is all about being able to make your own choices, respecting your partner and being respected, and feeling safe.
Let’s begin with the fact that consent is ongoing: this means that it can change and be taken back at any point. You may have been on the same page with your partner two minutes ago, but later you changed your mind -that may happen and that’s okay! You always have the right to change your mind and your partner should respect that. Consent is about equal power: if someone is asleep, under the influence, or in a vulnerable position in any way, then they are not at equal power and can’t consent. Consent is about making a choice that you are comfortable with, not being pressured into saying “yes” -and consent can’t be gained through threats or manipulation, either. If we don’t feel free to make that choice for ourselves, consent cannot happen. Consent is expressed through words of affirmation, for example, “yes”. If your partner is silent, or does not respond, that is not consent and that does not give you permission to keep going. Just because you don’t hear the word “No”, doesn’t mean you can keep pushing. The absence of “no” does not mean “yes”. Only yes means yes!
We wish that nobody would ever have to experience any abuse, and we believe it was very brave of Abigail Breslin to share her story. You can read more about Abigail’s courageous Instagram posts here: A.Breslin
Remember, you have the right to be safe and live free from fear and abuse, and you deserve respect. If you, or anyone you know, need help or just someone to talk to, call our hotline @ 407-330-3933
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and it is so important to talk about consent. We decided to create our own video to help everyone understand the concept. And of course, we had to do it using cupcakes, mmmm.
Even if her music isn’t your style, you’ve probably heard about Ke$ha at some point. Last weekend, Kesha received an award from the Human Rights Campaign for her advocacy work with LGBT. During her moving acceptance speech she talked about her teenage years, feeling like a “misfit”, and what she wants to tell the world. She says “…we were bullied for being ourselves, shamed for being different and encouraged for hiding the things that make us unique.”
It can be difficult to feel comfortable in your own skin when there are messages that tell you that only certain things are cool or beautiful. We should remember that being unique is a wonderful thing! There are certain things about all individuals that make them one-of-a-kind and that stuff is great! Being able to accept others for who they truly are, standing up for what is right, that’s not always the easiest thing to do, but it is the right thing to do. If you see something that isn’t right, do you try to help or do you tell yourself that it’s none of your business? If you notice that your friend is changing their appearance for their partner’s requests do you tell your friend you are concerned, or do you ignore it?
“My message today is don’t be afraid to speak up against any injustice you experience. Don’t let people scare or shame you into changing the things about you that make you unique.”
You can watch Kesha’s acceptance speech below, but be prepared to hear her drop the F-word a couple times…
Just read a beautiful blog post titles "33 Fast Facts About Love" and it was full of amazingly surprising details. Most of those 33 facts were based on first loving yourself. There is no other way to feel loved by others if you do not believe you are worthy of that love. It is so important for each of us to realize this notion, and not on an abstract basis, but truly deeply loving yourself and believing that You (yes, you) are a lovable person full of qualities that others will value. If you don't love yourself, please reach out and find help. Take time to get to know all of you, not just those flaws that you focus on. Listen to the compliments, not only the criticisms. Learn a new skill and enjoy it, don't worry about being the best or being perfect at it. Look in the mirror and smile at yourself. To quote Kathryn Stockett's The Help, "You is kind. You is smart. You is important."
We're so sad to hear about yesterday's break-up violence incident at Winter Springs High School . Our thoughts are with the victim for a safe and quick recovery.
Teens, it's important to know that violence is never the answer. If you or a friend are in an unhealthy or abusive relationship and are needing help, please do not hesitate to reach out to us or SafeHouse (24/7 hotline: 407-330-3933) for additional resources.
Help B.R.A.V.E. raise awareness about domestic and dating violence by having open and honest conversations, with family and friends, about what it means to have a healthy relationship and a healthy break-up, free from violence and abuse. Together, we can make a difference!
Our mission is for every relationship in Seminole County to be violence free and for everyone to feel respected and safe in their relationships. <3
Click Here if you're interested in reading more about the incident.
Some describe summer time as being lazy and catching up on some much needed rest and relaxation, am I right?! It's a time to hang out and have some fun in the sun with family and friends! Or maybe your summer isn't as easy going since you're taking summer school classes or working hard to save some money for your first car or even college!
However your spending your summer, don't forget to take some time for yourself! Taking care of yourself is EXTREMELY important for your health and well-being! And what better way to unwind than with a good book and getting lost in a character's life for hours...
Soooooo check out some of our recommendations below!
B.R.A.V.E.'s TOP 10 BOOKS TO READ THIS SUMMER!
1) Bitter End by Jennifer Brown
2) In Love and in Danger: A Teen's Guide to Braking Free of Abusive Relationships by Barrie Levy
3) Live Through This by Mindi Scott
4) Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
5) Rage: A Love Story by Julie Ann Peters
6) Inexcusable by Chris Lynch
7) Breathing Underwater by Alex Finn
8) Bad Boy can be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone
9) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
10) Dating Violence: True Stories of Hurt and Hope by John Hicks
Leave a review of the book you read in the comments below or let us know if we missed a book that should be on this list! We'd LOVE to hear what you think!
Wishing everyone a safe and happy summer!
Huge thank you to our friends at UCF Victim Services for passing along the videos below!
It's important to know the signs of abuse and how to reach out for help.
Let's us know how you would help a friend in the comments below!
What does a friend really need to hear? You may feel tongue tied when you see a friend hurting and you don't want to make it worse, but honestly, staying silent makes it worse. What they really need to hear is that you care. That they don't deserve what is happening. That they are kind and smart and important. Don't make them feel bad for being involved with someone who hurt them, they already feel that shame. They may love that person even if you don't understand it. Just point out the behavior that their partner does that is not good and tell your friend no matter what , they don't deserve to be treated that way. Build them up, they need to feel your love, not your judgement.
Watching someone you love can be one of the most difficult things to go through. Sometimes you have to resist the urge to help someone because they are not willing to receive it. But there is a time and a place where you must step into help. You stepping in to help may vary from being there from somebody, listening, or being the connection for more professional help. In my opinion, if someone is in trouble there is always a need for you to step in but, on the flip side, we have to know when to draw our lines and back away. Unfortunately, we as friends and family cannot fix everything but we can help. It may not always be the type of help we think we need to give but if someone is struggling with an abusive relationship it is not about us. We must use good judgement. Good judgement includes simply thinking about others, who will our actions affect, and if we have good intentions. Just remember it is always a good idea to help others but it has to be the help that will serve others best and additionally, we must make wise judgement!
In previous blogs, I've mentioned what is in a bad relationship and things that we should avoid and take caution against. But in this blog I really wanted to focus on the benefits of maintaining a healthy relationship.
Obviously, each relationship is unique to two different people. Everyone compliments (or doesn't compliment) in different ways and finding someone who you think brings out the best in you is part of dating! In my opinion, a healthy relationship is two people working together to bring out the best in each other. It is important to support each other in accomplishments and good deeds but to also motivate them to reach their full potential.
One key thing in a healthy relationship is selflessness. If we are thinking about our partner and putting others before ourselves (This doesn't always have to apply to a relationship) then I truly believe that a healthy connection can be maintained.
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