Have you Ever Been in an Unhealthy Relationship?

If you’re in a relationship, chances are it has good parts and hard parts. How do you know if it’s healthy overall? In this video people talk about how they figured out their relationship wasn’t good for them, and what they did next.

What we Talk About and Why

 

Consent

Consent is the foundation of healthy partnered sexuality. Knowing that everyone is an enthusiastic, informed, freely-given ‘yes’ to a sexual activity before it happens is mandatory.

Adults with cognitive disabilities often get told what to do – by staff or families or even by strangers like medical specialists they only meet once. They may be punished if they don’t comply. When this happens, they learn that it’s not important whether or not they consent to something. They have to do what they’re told.

Given these experiences, consent is a concept that needs to be talked about a lot and reinforced so that people know how to ask for it in sexual situations, and know how to give it or to NOT give it.

It’s also valuable for staff and families to think about how we can model consent in our daily interactions with the people we support so that they are not getting mixed messages from us. (eg “No always means no… except when I’m telling you to eat your broccoli.”)

 

Rejection

Everyone experiences rejection. People with cognitive disabilities likely experience it more than most. They get turned down for dates. Staff who they are close to move on to other jobs. It can feel terrible. In our videos, people talk about their experiences of rejection, and their recovery from rejection. Hearing these stories can bring hope and build resilience.