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Respectful Relationships: What I Want More Of

Posted: 03/09/2019

Money? Happiness? Love? To be that special person in someone’s life or to have that special someone? There are lots of things we would like more of but isn’t RESPECT at the top of the list when we consider an intimate partner relationship?

Intimate partner violence is about power and control. It’s about how we touch, talk and treat each other. It can show up in our attitudes to such things as gender, sex, finances, friends, culture, family, freedom, decision-making and roles. That’s why…

There are ten ‘domains’ in Innovative Resources’ No Room for Family Violence cards, representing key indicators of abusive or respectful behaviour within intimate partner relationships. While these domains are not necessarily the only areas where power and control can play out, they have consistently been identified as important arenas of intimate partner violence. The ten domains are:

  • Communication
  • Decisions
  • Equality
  • Finances
  • Freedom
  • Honesty
  • Other people
  • Safety
  • Sexuality
  • Turning points.

There are three cards in each domain: ‘What I want MORE of’, ‘What CONCERNS me’, and ‘What I want NONE of’.

The MORE suit (green) names behaviours and qualities that help build strong and respectful relationships. Each card in this suit features the heading: ‘What I want MORE of’. People can interpret this in a variety of ways. For example, they may want something that has never been present in their relationship, or that used to be present but has disappeared and they would like it again, or it may be something that is going really well already and they want it to continue. A respectful relationship is not simply the absence of abuse; this suit names some key things that would be happening instead.

Introducing the MORE suit (green) to a young person who is considering an intimate partner relationship can be of benefit.

That is because these cards name respectful behaviours and encourage people to talk about what they want in a relationship.

Starting with the MORE suit enables the conversation to focus on what the person’s preferred ‘picture of the future’ looks like and what their expectations of a relationship are. It can also help them to notice when they or their partner are not being respectful, and the strengths and resources they can draw on to help them respond effectively.

This strengths-based, solution-focused approach helps people explore their hopes and vision for how they would like things to be.

A family services practitioner observed:

When trialling the No Room for Family Violence cards, one woman explained she could not find anything in the green cards that she had in her relationship, and this realisation was a catalyst to her ending the relationship.

By helping young people explore the domains of a respectful relationship they are better informed of what they want MORE of, what CONCERNS them, and what they want NONE of in a respectful relationship — but it will empower them to establish the kind or relationship they want.

 

 

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