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.
Isn't it silly that loving yourself is one of the hardest things to do? According to Confidence Coalition, Three-fourths of girls with low self-esteem engage in negative activities, such as disordered eating, bullying, smoking or drinking and 1 in 3 girls between the ages of 16 and 18 say sex is expected for people their age if they’re in a relationship. In my opinion, if girls struggling with self-esteem understood their worth, or even half of how much potential they have to become the amazing woman each girl can become, then these statistics would be drastically different. How do we get girls to understand their worth? Well, each girl is unique and may require a specific approach but what I've done to help girls understand their worth is create a program called "Celebrate Yourself: Combat Bullying by Building Self-Esteem." In this program I go over step by step of each girls accomplishments, goals, talents, and positive role models and it is my belief if young woman focus on these 4 things then their self-esteem will rise and their lives with be changed forever. But, I understand that just one of these "Celebrate Yourself" presentations isn't going to immediately make a girl have self-esteem. I hope that I can provide the tools, by helping girls recognize these 4 key things, then they can make the life-changing choice of looking at themselves in a positive way. Also according to Confidence Coalition, "Only 2% of women think they are beautiful." It is my personal mission to significantly raise this number just so simply girls can look at themselves as beautiful and love themselves.
Studies have found that most domestic violence relationships have what is called "The Cycle of Abuse." As we look at step 1, tensions start to build. This would be the ideal time to get out of the relationship but it is never that easy to just "walk away." This is usually the first time the victim becomes potentially aware they are in an abusive relationship. Step 2, is unfortunately the most heart-breaking part of the cycle for me. An incident is not just always physical but it is very emotionally damaging. The examples listed above "Anger, blaming, arguing, and threats" can be life-changing and traumatic especially if they are from someone that you thought you loved. Step 3, is very common after an incident. Apologizing for an incident doesn't make the abuse right and typically the abuser never really means "sorry." For step 4, do not mistake that as "he will never do it again." While the incident is forgotten about for a period of time, it doesn't mean it won't happen again. To help break the "Cycle of Abuse" contact Safehoue of Seminole.
As a follow up on our last blog post "Where is the line?" here are few signs if you are being abused according to "The House of Ruth"
When I first started getting involved with relationship violence, I often wondered, "Where exactly is the line?" I researched further and found several answers but all were rather indirect. As I further my journey with ending relationship violence, I know understand that answer just a little bit more and here is my own:
That start of a dangerous relationship begins with simple signs such as verbal abuse (there are other warning signs like control and bullying). Whenever you feel less of yourself, question your self worth, and do not feel equal to your partner that is when a relationship is becoming dangerous. Never let your partner feel any of these ways because NO woman deserves to ever feel like this. The line should defiantly never be crossed but no one should ever come close! From stories and research I know, most men don't immediately become abusive they gradually become more controlling and abusive. Recognize these signs before the line is crossed!!
At the end of the day, numbers don't lie and these statistics are disturbing in every way. But for every time someone stands up by seeking for help and giving help, these numbers lessen. Be BRAVE! Be the CHANGE!
Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
BRAVE Ambassadors run this Blog