© 2016 by Children's Legal Services of San Diego

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    DATING &

    RELATIONSHIPS

    Healthy Relationships

    • Boyfriends and girlfriends respect partner’s desires to socialize with friends of any gender.

    • Partners respect differences of opinion.

    • Texts, calls, and social media interactions are opportunities to laugh and get to know each other.

    • How partners communicate is based on respect and caring.

    • The boundaries of each partner are respected by the other.

    Concerning Relationships:

    • Partner requires the other to check with them before making plans with friends.

    • Partner discourages the other from spending time with friends.

    • Partner is jealous of time spent with friends or family.

    • Partner makes all the decisions about social activities.

    • Partner uses shame or guilt to get their way.

    Dangerous Relationships:

    • Any physical act used to control or scare the other partner.

    • Preventing date from leaving a car, room, or are by physical means or threats.

    • Demanding access to phone and social media accounts to monitor communications.

    • Preventing partner from spending time with friends.

    • Demanding sexual activity against the wished of the partner.

    Is My Relationship Healthy?

    What is Sex Trafficking?

    Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act. Sex traffickers frequently groom victims and then use violence, threats, lies, false promises, debt bondage, or other forms of control and manipulation to prevent victims from leaving.

    Victims of sex trafficking can be anywhere. Some will work the streets or in establishments that offer commercial sex acts (brothels, strip clubs, pornography industry). Some operate under the guise of massage parlors, modeling agencies, strip clubs, etc

    Know the Cycle 

    A trafficker first gains trust before exploiting the victim. Often, traffickers look for victims with existing vulnerabilities such as an unstable home, lack of a support system, etc.

    Once trust in established, a trafficker may initiate a romantic relationship or friendship and then fill a need that the victim feels. They will provide emotional or physical support that has been lacking. The trafficker will encourage alienation of family, friends, and support system and may remove the victim from the area either through manipulation or by force.

    Abuse begins. The trafficker will expect the victim to “work” to contribute to the “relationship” and may use violence in addition to emotional abuse or manipulation.

    The trafficker maintains control and will establish themselves as the decision maker and control who the victim has contact with and their access to resources.

    What is Domestic Abuse?

    Domestic Violence can occur to anyone. It could be your friend, a family member, a co-worker. Domestic Violence does not discriminate against age, gender, or economic status.

    Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.  Domestic violence can be physical, emotional, financial, sexual, or spiritual actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, or injure someone.

    Know the Cycle

    There are three distinct phases in the pattern of abuse.

    Tension Building:

    This phase is often described by survivors as “walking on eggshells”. Tension and stress are building and the survivor is trying to control the situation to avoid possible violence.  

    Explosion:

    This phase is where the abuse occurs. The abuse is triggered by anything, everything, and nothing. The trigger is the excuse that the violent person uses to justify being abusive. 
    False Honeymoon:

    Here the relationship seems peaceful and romantic; forgiveness is requested and given. The abuser is typically trying to use the romance to manipulate and control the victim in different ways than used before. The false honeymoon stage will begin to fade after some time, and the cycle will begin again.