One day, our daughters will grow up and start relationships. This is when we’ll get concerned with their safety. Many parents ask “What can I do to prevent my daughter from contacting a rapist or sadist? Or, God forbid, marry him?” You won’t be able to interfere in the future, but there’s something you can do now: explain and teach. How to protect your daughter against violence and abuse when she grows up?
Here are 14 rules that she should learn and keep in mind. Always.
We live in a violent world. Everything is complicated by the fact that we all, without exception, you and I, tolerate some violence. Otherwise, we would not have survived here. Sometimes we try not to notice a certain amount of aggression and rudeness in our address. This is a normal adaptive reaction – otherwise, we would experience humiliation, pain, and anger every day.
We are used to the fact that aggression in some form can be shown to us by anyone who has at least a little power. A doctor – if we are patients. Teacher – if we are students. Parent – if we are children. Subway or airport employee – if we are passengers. A policeman, in general, can be aggressive towards anyone. It’s not pleasant, but not shocking, either. We ignore small amounts of aggression and violence in everyday life. But when it comes to family, the rules should be different. The family should be a safe haven, an oasis of peace and warmth.
According to US statistics, 1 of 3 women ever experienced some kind of physical violence from their partner at least once in their life. 1 of 4 women was the subject to severe physical violence. 50% of partners who abuse their women would also abuse a child. The numbers are dreadful, but the worst is that some women allow treating them disrespectfully on a constant basis…
When your daughter starts relations, her safety will no longer depend on you. However, you can have a serious conversation with your teenage princess – it might save her when she becomes an adult.
Tell Your Daughter That…
1. If you are beaten even once – leave and never get back
If you are hit by a boyfriend/fiancé/husband – immediately pack your stuff and leave. Grab your documents and children, you will deal with the rest later. Do not accept apologies, do not start negotiations. Any “forgive me, I’m so sorry” tomorrow will be forgotten and turned into “You made me do this again”. People never change! Many ex-victims of domestic violence admit that such life is like a swamp: it is very difficult to get out of it. So do not hesitate – run.
People don’t change. So if you get beaten once, leave and never regret.
2. Never accept any “It’s your fault” and “You made me do that”
This is a lie. In fact, this means: “I know that I can hit you, offend, insult, and you won’t be able to pay me back, so I see no reason to control myself.” Do not accept any punishments, especially physical ones.
3. “You can always come your parents, daughter”
Always. In any condition and any situation. Depressed. Terrified. In tears. Barefoot. And I will not blame you. Even if I want to say, “I warned you,” I will shut up and listen. And I will always support you.
Must read: 10 Signs of Toxic Parents
4. If you can’t come to me, seek for friends’ help. Don’t stay silent!
Let your friends be so close that they can be asked for help. If there are no such people, seek help, any, and do not feel ashamed to accept it. Complain, scream, tell everyone who is ready to listen to you. Some women keep bearing assaults and beating in silence – it may literally kill! Do not repeat such mistake – it will never get any better until you let the man treat you like that.
5. Healthy relationships are never possible with domestic violence
The initial signs of violence might be minor and almost unnoticeable. First, requests turn into orders. Then petty humiliation becomes the norm. Rudeness is presented as intimacy. Then beating can be served as “a disciplinary measure”.
Do not let anyone humiliate and hurt you! And never think, “I’m smart, this certainly won’t happen to me.” Even very smart women get caught in such a trap. As soon as you realize you’re a victim of violence (physical or verbal), cease the toxic relationship.
6. Do not find excuses for aggressive behavior!
Today, a person behaves absolutely adequately, and tomorrow he turns into an irritated sadist. And the day after tomorrow everything is in perfect order. You exhale with relief: “Okay, it was just a swing of mood.” If such things happen often – beware. This sensation is the main symptom you can rely on. If you notice such strange things in man’s behavior, don’t hurry to develop relationships and start family or business with him. Let the person show his real self.
Must read: What Makes Man A Good Father?
7. Always have your own money
A woman should have some source of income just in case. Even if you are sitting with children, make sure to have your own account, a ‘safety bag’ with money, so to say. Discuss this with your partner before you end up on maternity leave. It is very important. When the children are small, we depend on the partner and get more vulnerable than ever.
8. Do not let the relationship become the only thing that matters in your life
Relationship is a fragile construction. Friends, work, sports, hobbies – let it all be present in your life. Earn money. Learn. Meet new people. If the relationship ever collapses – and this happens more often than we would like – it will hurt. But it’s better to have one turret collapsed than the entire castle.
9. Take care of your health, both physical and mental
If you feel depressed in relationships, lose motivation to care about your beauty, health, education, and career, it’s not okay. It might be the sign that the partner suppresses you.
10. Never tall yourself “Everyone lives like that.” It is not true
And I will do everything for you to see families in which there is no violence and rudeness, in which people talk respectfully with each other, even when they are very angry. And I’ll try to be a good example for you.
Must read: Parents Fighting: The Biggest Mistake We Do
11. Do not blame yourself
We all make mistakes. It’s not a trouble to face violence once and stop it. The real trouble is to get stuck in it for a long time, for years. You don’t need a family at all costs. You need someone who can support and take care of you.
12. People change. But not always to the better
We are aging and gaining experience – our personality keeps changing. But some things always stay in a person’s temperament. What seems like an innocent eccentricity in youth can turn out to be a mental illness over the years. Sometimes people behave very ugly, especially if they understand that the other person depends on them. If this happened to you, do not tell yourself “How didn’t I notice that before?” There are many things that we cannot discern while they are hidden deep underground. See Point 1.
13. Experiment, try new things
New work, new haircut, new sports. Buy new dishes, set new rules in the family. Try new ways to have sex. The more new things you discover in your life, the more confident you will feel in a relationship.
14. Share these rules. Tell them to your friends
Do not be indifferent if someone is being insulted and someone is being bullied before your eyes. Remember, sometimes girls and women feel too ashamed to ask for help and confess they’re being humiliated by a man. But that doesn’t mean they need no help. Maybe you will be the only one to notice someone else’s pain, and then – do not pass by.
How to protect your daughter from violence? We won’t be able to accompany our kids all the time, but we can teach them to be self-confident and self-loving enough to keep abusers at the bay. And what’s important – we, parents, should serve as the primary example of a healthy relationship between partners.
What would you tell your daughter during such conversation? Share your thoughts on prevention of domestic violence.
Cover image: mamsy.ru