In the past, I have been "the abused" in emotionally/verbally abusive relationships. I had no idea what my rights were as a person. I also did not know what a healthy relationship was supposed to look like and used to think I deserved no better that to be treated badly. Learning what my rights and responsibilities are as an individual and with my family, friends, and those I do life with, has been a very important part of my recovery.
It is important to remember that our rights are also our responsibilities in relationships. and that we have the right to express ourselves as long as we are not abusive towards others.
The Following is a list of Basic Rights in Relationships from The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans and other soures.
Basic Rights in Relationships
- The right to be treated with respect.
- The right to assert yourself.
- The right to good will from the other.
- The right to emotional support.
- The right to be heard by the other and to be responded to with courtesy.
- The right to live free from angry outbursts and rage.
- The right to have your own view, even if your partner has a different view.
- The right to have your feelings and experience acknowledged as real.
- The right to receive a sincere apology for any jokes you may find offensive.
- The right to clear and informative answers to questions that concern you.
- The right to live free from accusation and blame.
- The right to live free from criticism, judgment, put-downs or ridicule.
- The right to have your work and your interests spoken of with respect.
- The right to encouragement.
- The right to live free from emotional and physical threat.
- The right to be called by no name that devalues you.
- The right to be respectfully asked rather than ordered.
I have internalized these rights and refer back to them when something doesn't feel right in a relationship, but I remember the time when these rights were foreign to me and I thought I deserved nothing better than abuse.
If you are in a situation of abuse, ask for help. YOU MATTER and YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to live free of emotional, verbal and physical abuse***.
peace, hope and love,
***note: both women and men can be victims of abuse in both personal and professional settings.