#ThatsNotLove: Why We Need To Stop Making Excuses For Abusive Relationships

What is love, baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more.

Who would have thought that the lyrics to a 2000s Haddaway hit would now contain some sort of underlying value other than a catchy, rhythmic head bob? Think about words for a minute and how misconstrued things can get with just the simple addition or removal of a word or two. Ready?

Because I love you, I want you to skip class to be with me.
OR
Because I love you, I want you to go to class, then be with me.

Because I love you, I want you to stop doing things with your friends.
OR
Because I love you, I want you to spend time with your friends.

Because I love you, you have to do what I say and what I want.
OR
Because I love you, I’m willing to compromise, even if I don’t get what I want.


A simple but powerful phrase, “because I love you.” Isn’t it?

A video that surfaced on YouTube in October effectively shows just how easily this simple phrase can take on a different meaning and may not always be obvious. Sadly, this phrase is used a lot in abusive relationships and isn’t always caught as soon as it should be.

The One Love Foundation, a student-led movement assisting others in changing the historical statistics surrounding relationship violence, seeks to put an end to domestic violence by showing what abuse may “look” like, even when you can’t see it yourself. And in this day and age, 57 percent of college students report that it is actually quite difficult to identify relationship abuse.

An abuser may say something that they know is manipulative enough to gain the higher ground in a situation. And anyone, regardless of race, sex, or gender, can be classified as an abuser. The video above does an excellent job of displaying those various roles.

While people may not be able to see it, this is still abuse. 

Controlling where their significant other goes, who they see, what they do and when, and even what they wear are just some of the things that abusers may do to maintain control with their significant other. If someone is forcing you to do things without any form of compromise, that’s not love. 

It’s a mind game used by an abuser to make you feel inferior and make you feel like you have to compromise almost every opinion you may have.

#ThatsNotLove has shown up all over social media since the release of the video in October, especially on Twitter, showing statements that start with “Because I Love You.”

 

https://twitter.com/thesnugglisreal/status/662415894447001604

One Love is trying to define those grey areas where people may have to think twice about a potentially dangerous relationship they see or are a part of.  

Recently, I’ve seen the effects of such a relationship in a co-worker. This person came into work not even two weeks ago saying that their significant other was blowing a whistle whenever they fell asleep so they would have “more time to spend together.” The significant other came into work and yelled at my coworker about random complications with the relationship (that weren’t necessarily even valid). They took such an emotional toll on this person to the point where this person has expressed concern over attempting to move out. While there may be no physical violence visible or even associated with this situation, it’s one of those times where I had to take a step back and say, “What can I do to alleviate or change this situation? What can I say that might register with this person and help them to change their perspective?”

It’s never an easy situation to see someone in that state of anxiety, fear, or unease when there isn’t immediate danger. But there may be later on. That’s the time to step in.

One Love was created in memory of Yeardley Love who was beaten to death by her boyfriend in 2010. Don’t let someone close to you be the next person you see in the news for domestic/relationship violence.

Featured Image Via Yardsforyeardley

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