MatchCard Science Abusive Relationships Worksheet
Objective: Identify strategies that can help individuals avoid abusive relationships.
MatchCard: Download below.
MatchCard Information Pieces define and describe individuals who may or may not be high risk as abusers. Students mark the statements as true or false.
Print the Abusive Relationship MatchCard
Click image to go to download.
This is MatchCard #11 of the Nutrition, Health, and Safety Unit Study.
Find more information on MatchCard Science below.
Why Teach About Abusive Relationships in Middle School?
Unfortunately, abusers exist in our society and likely in all societies. They are not always easy to spot. Women who have been in terrible situations usually report how kind and caring the individual seemed at first.
The goal of this lesson is to PREVENT abuse. How? By teaching the warning signs to students before they get into romantic relationships so they recognize dangere signs immediately.
Abusers generally believe they "own" the other person and have a difficult time allowing them to break off the relationship. The sooner their would-be victim recognizes the danger, the more likely they will be able to terminate the relationship without harm to herself.
Of course, we often think of abuse as occuring to females by male perpetrators, and statistically this is more often to be the case - but not always. It is invaluable to educate everyone about the characteristics that warn someone the relationship is unhealthy and dangerous.
In addition to preventing the student from becoming a victim, there is another goal in educating them about abuse. Fortunately, most of our kids will not be abused. But quite likely, a lot of them will be friends with someone who is. Their knowledge and support may be critical in helping another person avoid or escape a dangerous situation.
One more goal may be achieved by this lesson. Of course, none of us want our kids to grow up to be abusers. But if any do have any of these traits, this may be a good time for them to think about their attitudes and behaviors.
What Is A Healthy Relationship
Ask your student(s) to describe a healthy marriage. They may include such qualities as:
- Shared Goals
- Open Communication
- Enjoying each other's conmpany
Let them create the list. This activity can be a poster or lapbook. Some students (ie girls - not to sound sexist but likely to be true) might like to include art work of wedding rings, bridal bouquets, wedding cakes, etc.
Discuss what an unhealthy relationship might be. Obviously, the oppositve of the goals listed above might be a starting point.
You might list the qualities they state, but the poster and artwork aren't needed for this part of the activity.
Some relationships are more than just unhealthy: they are abusive. In an abusive relationship one person starts to control the other. The abuse is often physical. But it might start non-physically, by emotionally or financially trying to control the other person.
Ask the student(s) what they think an abusive relationship would be like. Use this discussion to introduce MatchCard #11. (see the link above to print)
Information on the Abusive Relationship MatchCard
Give the student the MatchCard and the nine thumbs. They put a thumbs up on statements that are true and a thumbs down for statements that are false.
- Avoid dating or marrying individuals who hit you or insult you.
- Avoid dating or marrying individuals who try to control your time, your money, or limit your friendships with others.
- Avoid dating or marrying someone who is not good looking.
- Remember a person who is violent with a girlfriend or boyfriend is probably going to be violent and abusive to children later on.
- Avoid dating or marrying individuals who force or pressure you to have sex.
- Avoid dating or marrying someone who does not make a lot of money.
- Avoid dating or marrying individuals who have had lots of previous relationships and/or marriages; particularly if their previous partners had questionable injuries or deaths.
- It might be your responsibility to try to change this person by being a better person yourself or loving them more.
- Avoid dating or marrying individuals who have a hot headed temper, particularly over small incidents.
- Why would one person think they should control or own another person.
- Do you think the danger signals would occur immediately when the relationship begins, a little later, or a long time after they meet. (Note: often in the first 6 -12 months but it obvious varies.)
- Often the perpetrator is a male and the victim is a female but not always. Why do you think this is?
- Since people aren’t perfect, relationships aren’t perfect. There is a difference between conflict between two people and abuse. There is also a difference between unhealthy relationship and abuse. How can you tell the difference?
- How do you think the person who is being abused feels?
- How do you think the abuser feels? Does he or she feel in control? Do they want to be in control?
- Does the abused individual have a responsibility to protect his/her/their children from the abuser? Does that responsibility start before the children are born?
- Where can the person who is abused turn to for help?
Role play what you would say if you suspect a friend of yours is being abused.
Just as it is possible to be abused, it is also possible to be falsely accused of abuse. How should someone respond?
This is the last lesson in the Nutrition, Health and Safety Unit Study. More Information on MatchCard Science is below.