Is Your Relationship Affecting Your Health?
How’s It Going?
Everyone deserves to have partners listen to what they want and need. Ask yourself:
Is my partner or the person I am seeing kind to me and respectful of my choices?
Is my partner willing to talk openly when there are problems?
Does my partner give me space to spend time with other people?
If you answered YES to these questions, it sounds like you have a supportive and caring partner. Studies show that being cared for by the person you are with leads to better health, a longer life, and helps your kids.
Are There Times…
My partner or the person I’m seeing:
✘Shames or humiliates me, makes me feel bad about myself, or controls where I go and how I spend my money?
✘Ever hurts or scares me with their words or actions?
✘Makes me have sex when I don’t want to?
✘Keeps me from seeing my doctor or taking my medicine?
These experiences are common. 1 in 4 women is hurt by a partner in her lifetime. If something like this is happening to you or a friend, call or text the hotlines on this card.
Helping a Friend
Everyone feels helpless at times and like nothing they do is right.
Sound familiar? This can be a bigger problem if you have a partner who is unhealthy or unsafe. Connecting with friends or family who are having hard times like this is so important.
You can help by telling them they aren’t alone. “Hey, I’ve been there too and someone gave this card to me. It has ideas on places you can go for support and things you can do to be safer and healthier.”
And for you? Studies show when we help others we see the good in ourselves, too.
Partners Can Affect Health
A lot of people don’t realize that having a partner hurt you with their words, injure/hurt you or make you do sexual things you don’t want to can affect your health:
Asthma, diabetes, chronic pain, high blood pressure, cancer
Smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, unplanned pregnancies and STDs
Trouble sleeping, depression, anxiety, inability to think or control emotions
Talking to your health provider about these connections can help them take better care of you.
What does it mean to be strong, resilient or come back from bad experiences?
Knowing you aren’t at fault for what was done to you.
Figuring out how to manage stress and find healthy ways to cope.
Finding people who are safe can help you heal.
Maybe you have a good friend to talk with. Maybe you don’t yet. For some, talking to the helpful people from the hotlines listed on this card might be a great first step.
Your Past Can Affect Your Health
Some parents/caregivers hurt their kids—it happens more than we think. Maybe they:
Called you names, didn’t feed you enough, couldn’t love or care for you
Injured you when they punished you or did sexual things to you or made you do things to them
Where you live and what you saw when you were a kid can affect you too. Like if you:
Had a caregiver who was hurt by their partner, they argued a lot, or they had mental health or addiction problems
Faced racism, lived in unsafe places, or were bullied
Even if some of this or a lot of this happened to you—it isn’t the end of the story.
Simple Steps For Healing
Science tells us when you are hurt as a kid or as an adult you are at risk for having a hard time taking care of yourself. Let’s change that.
- The best way to make it better is to reduce the stress on your body.
- Exercise—it calms the brain and body and helps you feel better.
- It sounds silly, but when you get hurt, your body learns how to hold on to that stress and worry. There’s a way to turn down anxiety when it’s safe.
- Deep breathing is the key to this. Check out “Tactical Breather,” a free cell phone app to help you feel calm and reminds you how to slow your breathing to help you think.
If you are being hurt by a partner, it is not your fault. You deserve to be safe and treated with respect.
If your safety is at risk:
- Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.
- Prepare an emergency kit in case you have to leave fast with: money, phone charger, keys, medicines, birth certificates and shot records.
- Talk to your health care provider for help using their phone to call the local or national hotlines on this card so the number you called can’t be traced.
Confidential and free chat, text, call line provides support 24/7:
text “START” to 88788
Free, anonymous safety aid: myplanapp.org
Low cost healthcare and sexual health information: bedsider.org