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RA Seminar- Group 1 (Healthy and Unhealthy relationships) Amanda Kapus, Erin Haffey, Haley Strowe, Jessica Smith

Part One: Question Response A. Our topic is Healthy and Unhealthy relationship. Relationships are a necessary part of a healthy life. These relationships can positively impact a person’s life by adding support, adding enjoyment to life, and other things. But at the same time these relationship can have a negative impact on a person’s life as well, by causing discomfort and possibly harm. The table below shows the signs of both healthy and unhealthy relationship. Healthy Relationship take care of yourself and have good self-esteem independent of your relationship Maintain and respect each other's individuality Maintain relationships with friends and family Have activities apart from one another Are able to express yourselves to one another without fear of consequences Are able to feel secure and comfortable Allow and encourage other relationships Take interest in one another’s activities Do not worry about violence in the relationship Trust each other and be honest with each other Have the option of privacy Have respect for sexual boundaries Are honest about sexual activity if it is a sexual relationship Accept influence. Relationships are give and take; allowing your partner to influence you is important; this can be especially difficult for some men. Resolve conflict fairly: Fighting is part of even healthy relationships, the difference is how the conflict is handled. Fighting fairly is an important skill you help you have healthier relationships.

Unhealthy Relationship put one person before the other by neglecting yourself or your partner Feel pressure to change who you are for the other person Feel worried when you disagree with the other person Feel pressure to quit activities you usually/used to enjoy Pressure the other person into agreeing with you or changing to suit you better Notice one of you has to justify your actions (e.g. where you go, who you see) notice one partner feels obligated to have sex or has been forced Have a lack of privacy, and may be forced to share everything with the other person You or your partner refuse to use safer sex methods Notice arguments are not settled fairly Experience yelling or physical violence during an argument Attempt to control or manipulate each other Notice your partner attempts to controls how you dress and criticizes your behaviors Do not make time to spend with one another have no common friends, or have a lack of respect for each others’ friends and family Notice an unequal control of resources (food, money, home, car, etc.) Experience a lack of fairness and equality

B.) This topic is relevant to being Resident Assistant because residents will be in relationships during college and some of these relationships might not be the healthiest for the residents. An RA should be able to recognize a healthy relationship verse an unhealthy relationship. Also, if an RA cannot tell the difference it could put the resident’s safety at risk.


C.) Some challenges that residential student might face when dealing with an unhealthy relationship is: 1. Might be scared to say anything. In an unhealthy relationship sometimes one partner may try to control the other by using physical or verbal violence which makes it hard for the victim to say anything. 2. Not knowing they are in a unhealthy relationship. The resident might think that this is a normal relationship because he or she is unaware of the difference. 3. Do not want to admit to what is going on. Instead the victim will make excuses for his or her partner. They do not want anyone to know what they are going through so they make themselves appear alright to other people. D.) Challenges that RA can face when helping the resident: 1. The resident might be unwilling to admit to what is happening in his or her relationship. Many victims refuse to acknowledge that there is a problem with his or her relationship so they think it is alright. 2. Are not prepared for when a resident comes to them with a relationship problem. A Resident Assistant should always have resource materials to refer to if a resident comes to them with a relationship problem. The RA wants to be able to inform the resident as much as possible about healthy verse unhealthy relationship so the resident can evaluate his or her relationship effectively. 3. Knowing where an unhealthy relationship comes from. It can be due to many reasons and not necessarily because their partner is a bad, evil and controlling person. For example, the partner might be acting this way due to being burned out, or compatibility issues. Also, not all unhealthy relationship are physically abusive. They can also be verbally abusive. Unhealthy relationships result from two personalities that do not fit well. 4. During unhealthy relationships the victim might be scared and not come to the RA. The RA needs to be proactive and approach the resident and evaluate the situation to see if another step is necessary and what that step would be.


http://www.healthy-relationships.net/unhealthy-sad-relationships.htm http://depts.washington.edu/hhpccweb/article-detail.php?ArticleID=376&ClinicID=13 http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/1427.html


Looking for more information about Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships? Check out these resources!  Thesafespace.org - The Safe Space is a website geared towards relationships and what each type (healthy and unhealthy) looks like. It provides visitors with definitions, different kinds of unhealthy relationships, ways to stay safe and combat these issues, and ways to help. This website is a great tool for residents and RAs seeking general information about relationships.  Womenshealth.gov (http://www.womenshealth.gov/violence/types/relationships.cfm) - This link to this particular website is geared towards women in particular. It contains information about the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships, different forms of violence against women, laws and legislation, and other resources to visit for information. This website would be especially helpful for young women who may think they are in an unhealthy relationship or anyone who thinks their friend may be one. It may also be helpful for an RA who just wants to know more about this topic, has a resident who is curious about it, or who has a resident who may be in an unhealthy relationship.  Cdc.gov (http://www.cdc.gov/Features/ChooseRespect/) - Although this is a link to a website that is focused on adults talking to teens about unhealthy relationships, it provides some great information. It has information on what makes a relationship healthy, what dating violence means, and skills which help produce healthy relationships. This would be especially helpful for an RA to look at if a resident is looking for ways to improve their relationship with somebody.  Acog.org (http://www.acog.org/departments/dept_notice.cfm?recno=17&bulletin=198) - This is a link to a quiz on the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. The quiz is on a page entitled Violence Against Women, but some of the questions on the quiz are general and could work for men or women in any kind of romantic or friendly relationship. The bottom of the quiz says that answering yes to any of the questions indicates being in an unhealthy relationship. This may be a good tool for RAs to refer their residents to if they are unsure as to whether their relationship is healthy or not. It can help the resident identify if they are in an unhealthy relationship and then they can take the next steps necessary to getting out of the unhealthy relationship because they know they are in one or not.  Loveisrespect.org (www.loveisrespect.org) - This is a website specifically geared towards young people in possibly unhealthy relationships. It has information on what unhealthy relationships look like, quizzes about whether you are being abused/are abusive, facts about dating abuse, and stories from other teens about their own experiences. It also has information on how to get helps, resources to get help, and ways to get involved in the organization or their


cause. This website is one of the most helpful for RAs and residents alike because it is specifically geared towards teens and college-aged individuals.  St. John Fisher College Wellness Center (585-385-8280; wellnesscenter@sjfc.edu) - The Wellness Center is a good tool for RAs and residents. The Wellness Center would be able to provide information on these two types of relationships to either an RA or a resident. It also offers confidential counseling services which may be beneficial to residents in an unhealthy relationship or residents who have a close friend who is in an unhealthy relationship. Setting up an appointment with one of the counselors would be a good way to talk about the issue with a confidential source and it is on campus.  NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence (www.nyscadv.org) - This is a website for an organization located in Albany, NY. This organization’s goal is to eradicate domestic violence through a number of ways including education about it. The website has a wide variety of information about domestic violence including different types, safety planning, legislation information, ways to get involved in the cause, and resources in New York including in Monroe County. The site also includes the phone number of the organization and the number for a 24 hour hotline. This site, like many others, would be helpful for either an RA or a resident seeking more information.  Alternatives for Battered Women Rochester (585-232-7353-hotline; www.abwrochester.org) - This is an organization in the Rochester area that provides a huge variety of services to individuals at risk of or suffering from domestic violence. The services that would be most useful to residents are the 24 hour hotline, the walk-in counseling, and the education prevention program. Services that it offers that may be helpful to RA’s in particular are the education prevention program and the Speaker’s Bureau which offers individualized presentations.  Prevention Educators (716-903-6453; www.preventioneducators.com) - This is an organization located in Buffalo, NY whose goal is to prevent violence and educate people about social justice. The website has links to pages titled, “Healthy/Unhealthy Relationships” and “Sexual Violence” which would be the most appropriate for residents or RAs. The site also provides information for college students specifically. It also offers training to college students which would help RAs tremendously and even residents during a program.  Hotline Numbers: - National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 - Abuse Hotline: 800-621-HOPE (4673) - National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474 - If you are in immediate danger, call 911


Group 1 Case Study Julie is a new freshman at St. John Fisher College. She grew up in Syracuse, NY and has always loved school. In High School she played soccer and lacrosse and was very excited about starting school at Fisher as a Nursing Major. Julie has a boyfriend named Brian who goes to RIT and is an engineering major. They have been together for 2 years and they both excited about starting out in college and especially since their schools are so close. On move in day Julie came with her parents and boyfriend to move in. There she met her roommates Sarah and Kate. The girls were all excited and could not wait to begin college life. The first weekend at school, Sarah and Kate began making friends and hanging out at school while Julie went to RIT to visit Brian. Sarah and Kate wanted to get Julie involved at school and suggested that they all join a club together. In the club, the girls were able to make more friends. By the end of September, soccer practice was in full force and Julie was busy most of the time with practices, homework, and traveling for games. One Sunday night, Julie seemed to be upset and had no interest in going to the SAB meeting like they normally do. The roommates ignored it and just figured that she was tired. On Monday, Julie slept through her alarm and missed all of her classes and said she didn’t want to do anything for the day. Tuesday night, Brian came over for dinner and when everyone went back to the room Brian and Julie got into an argument and were shouting at one another. The RA on the floor needed to come to tell the room to be quiet. The RA on the floor, Mary, stated “It did seem like there was a problem going on, but I was busy with homework and if I did anything about the situation I would probably have to write up a report.” Later that weekend, Brian came back and while hanging out in the girls’ room, he began to tell Julie that it was a stupid idea for her to be a nursing major because she isn’t smart enough. Then he said, “you know you’ve put on weight. You don’t look good anymore.” He also made a comment about her hanging out with other guys and said that she was not allowed to. Brian made it clear that he was the only guy that Julie was allowed to talk to or be seen with, even on Facebook. Julie didn’t respond much to the statements and shrugged them off. When Brian was leaving later that day he mentioned that Julie no longer had time to hang out and said that he could easily break up with her and find someone new. No one would like Julie because she’s ugly and he was doing her a favor by dating her. Kate and Sarah noticed that right after Brian left, Julie cried and was noticeably upset. The roommates decided not to say anything because they didn’t want to get involved. Mary, the RA, saw Julie in the hall later in the week and noticed that she didn’t seem like her normal happy self, but did not think to say anything and figured that it was no big deal. One day Julie’s phone was buzzing from a text message and she asked Sarah to tell her what it said. The message was from Brian and it said, “You’re not good enough for anyone, you better start working on things if you still want to be with me.” These similar situations carried on for about a month. Julie’s roommates heard the fighting and the nasty and hateful things that Brian said, but did not think to tell anyone or bring it up to Julie


because they were afraid of getting in other people’s business. Mary, the RA, also came to deal with several noise violations from the room with Julie and Brian fighting, but never addressed the issue. She noticed that Julie seemed more depressed than normal, but did not talk to her about it. Julie quit the clubs she was in and was kicked off the soccer team for not going to practices. She no longer wanted to play lacrosse. She started doing badly in school and never wanted to hang out with other people. Julie became depressed and eventually left Fisher because she could not keep her grades up and hated being there because she was unable to have fun and was being controlled by her boyfriend. What should the roommates have done: Sarah and Kate knew that there was a problem going on between Julie and Brian. From the beginning where she lost desire to do school work which she loved or stopped going to soccer practices, the girls could have talked to her about what was wrong. When they experienced the fighting between Julie and Brian they should have gone to the RA for help and told her the situation and asked for advice of what to do. The situation got bad very quickly and it would have helped if the roommates were more attentive to finding a solution to the problem. Although this situation put the roommates in an awkward situation, it was still clear that this was an unhealthy relationship and they should have gotten help for their roommate and found help for her. What should the RA have done: The RA should have paid more attention and cared more about her resident. If she noticed that Julie seemed upset and not as happy as normal she should have at least asked if everything was ok and checked in with her a few days later. In terms of the many noise complaints and times when Mary had to tell Julie and Brian to be quiet, she should have been there to help diffuse the problem and see what was actually happening. The RA job is a commitment and the excuse of not feeling like doing something doesn’t cut it. Mary has a responsibility to her residents and should have worked to see what was happening with Mary. She should have filed an FYI report to note any suspicious behavior happening and informed the RD of what was happening. She also should have taken the time to talk to Julie and refer her to campus resources like the Wellness Center or Campus Ministry.


Group 1