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Relationship safety tips

Signs that you are in a toxic relationship

Red flags in today’s era refer to signs of unhealthy relationships that are sometimes visible from the first day but one tends to ignore hoping that they will go away. Other dangerous signs unfortunately only get revealed months or years in the relationship. Many a times these are signs that a partner will be in denial about whilst others simply don’t see them because “love is blind” and you as a relative or friend will have noticed.

This year alone, we have lost over four people at the hands of their partners whilst others have been raped or beaten. This seems to be becoming a scary norm where sexual oriented relationship partners resort to deadly solutions however, the above mentioned can be avoided.

Dr Veronica Theron, the technical advisor in the Office of the First Lady is the project leader for the gender based violence pillar with the #BeFree Conversations. Dr Theron shared deal breakers and bright red flag signs that are flapping viciously for one to watch out for in their relationships.

Get to know your partner

Try to know who you are getting in a relationship very well before the relationship becomes intimate and before you move in with them. You have to know how your partner reacts in stressful situations, when provoked, if they are aggressive by nature, if they have alcohol problems and if they get jealous easily. If you spot any of these signs, report them or leave the relationship.

“Many young people minimise the danger because it becomes difficult to realise that the person you love can get to the extent to kill you so they don’t take the threats serious. Instead they try to fix the relationship on their own and sometimes to their own detriment,” she said.

Communicate more and more

A lack of communication and conflict resolution skills are triggers for violence. If you cannot sit and talk something through, your partner is likely to resort to violence.

Don’t treat domestic violence or your partner as a private matter

If you notice that your friend is acting different, report to their parents or reports to lecturers, head of department- someone that has the safety of the victim at heart.

“We should be active bystanders. Namibians have tendencies of only being active after the violence has occurred and we don’t focus on prevention which needs to change.”

Find a confidant

One needs to find someone whom they trust and be able to talk to. It is advised that this person should not be a peer but rather an adult who can give you information with experience.

Know your boundaries

It’s important for one to know their self-worth, standards and values. This is so should you be in a relationship and your partner beats you for the first time, you should be able to walk out.

“If you tolerate the first beating or slap, chances are that the second beating will follow soon. So know your boundaries and what you will allow in a relationship.”

Have a safety plan

Should you know that your life is in danger, have a plan by making sure you have emergency numbers at hand, have a friend that can check up on you, have extra pair of clothing should you need to leave the dangerous environment if you have to and having extra money saved up should you need to get to your loved ones.

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