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emotional abuse

Women's Aid have launched a new guide on safety orders for young women who are experiencing abuse in their relationships, due to new laws being introduced.

The legislation brought in at the beginning of this year allows women who are going through dating abuse to apply for Safety and Protection orders.

Women's Aid are instigating the guide on Valentine's Day as part of the #TooIntoYou campaign to emphasise the darker side of love.

RTÉ's Can't Stop Dancing presenter Bláthnaid Treacy is also urging young women and men to "know the signs of dating abuse", especially because 60 percent of abuse in relationships begins before the age of 25.

Women's Aid are a national organisation which provides vital information and support to women experiencing dating abuse and domestic violence. Their #TooIntoYou campaign aims to spread much-needed awareness on the topic.

#TooIntoYou uses social media and poster advertising to strive for the spread of information from February 14 until March 8 (International Women's Day).

New laws brought in at the start of 2019 under the Domestic Violence Act 2018 allow women to apply for important Safety and Protection laws.

However, the organisation believes that many young women are still in the dark about the change and how to get the necessary protection, which is why Women's Aid ae bringing in the 'Guide to Safety Orders in Dating Relationships' online today.

Spotting the 10 key danger signs of dating abuse and providing information to combat online stalking and digital abuse is of imperative importance for women in Ireland today.

Margaret Martin, Director of Women’s Aid says:

"1 in 5 women in Ireland experience abuse in relationships and in a national survey on domestic abuse in Ireland, almost 60 percent of those who had experienced severe abuse in intimate relationships first experienced it when they were under the age of 25."

"A stark reminder of this risk is that 1 in every 2 women, aged between 18-25, killed in Ireland since 1996 were murdered by their boyfriends or exes," Martin concluded.

The campaign is being launched on Valentine's Day to highlight the hidden reality of many young women's relationships, despite the fact that today is traditionally associated with love and romance.

Martin's goal for today, is to ask the hard questions; "We are clearly asking – what part of love is abuse?" She spoke directly to victims and survivors; “You are not alone in feeling something isn't right with your relationship."

Visit the #TooIntoYou website here for more information, or call the Women's Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline at 1800 341 900.

Feature image: Instagram'/@womens.aid

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Singer Ryan Adams has been hit with claims of emotional abuse, sexual misconduct and harassment.

The claims surfaced in a New York Times report where seven women came forward to say that the singer-songwriter had offered them help with their music careers before things became sexual and then abusive – both emotional and verbally.

The published report said that a 20-year-old female musician, going by her middle name Ava, had inappropriate conversations with Adam while she was 15 and 16 – he was 40.

Ava also claimed that Ryan had exposed himself in a video call.

The report said that Ryan had pet names for her body parts and messaged her that, ''If people knew they would say I was like R Kelley lol.''

Andrew B. Brettler, Adam’s lawyer said that, ''Mr. Adams unequivocally denies that he ever engaged in inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage.''

Adams’ ex-wife, actor and singer Mandy Moore, also said that he was psychologically abusive towards her during their marriage.

In light of the report, Ryan took to Twitter to address the allegations.

The 44-year-old said, ''I am not a perfect man and I have made many mistakes. To anyone I have ever hurt, however unintentionally, I apologize deeply and unreservedly.''

He continued, ''But the picture that this article paints is upsettingly inaccurate. Some of its details are misrepresented; some are exaggerated; some are outright false. I would never have inappropriate interactions with someone I thought was underage. Period.''

The singers Phoebe Bridgers and Courtney Jaye also alleged that Ryan behaved inappropriately during their relationships.

The article claims that Ryan became obsessed with Phoebe and, ''He began barraging her with texts, insisting that she prove her whereabouts, or leave social situations to have phone sex, and threatening suicide if she didn’t reply immediately.''

Ryan is a seven-times Grammy winner and is set to play two sold out concerts in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre on March 30 and 31.

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By Amy Donohoe

When I started college back in September 2016 I expected to find someone straight away, the way Lily found Marshall in How I Met Your Mother. I thought that a boyfriend would fix all of my problems, but it was honestly the complete opposite of that.

I wanted the boyfriend experience and I think that was taken advantage of. I spent half of my college life with the same boy. It was unclear to me at the time but he was with was only with me for selfish reasons.

I was good for his ego and I made him feel better about his own life. He didn’t have a perfect life (like most people) and he made me feel bad about mine because things were going good for me. It did start off positively, but the longer I was with him the less respect he had for me.

I was made feel guilty about everything and anything, he obviously saw that I was vulnerable. The longer I was with him I became dependable and insecure. I constantly forgave him for his lies and his behaviour because I didn’t want to be on my own.

This is my first personal piece I’ve written in a long time because writing about this issue meant I had to reflect and feel everything, and I wasn’t ready to do that for a long time but I know I’m not the only person who experienced this.

I kept a poker face on for so long but I think little cracks started to show when I started to bite my nails, buying stuff I didn’t need and having drinks to quiet my mind. But as far as I could tell, nothing was really wrong.

Then I started to lose friends, I had depressing thoughts and I lost a drastic amount of weight. There was a lack of clarity about my mental health but once I physically looked unwell other people started to notice.

I started to speak up and everything became crystal clear and my priority was to look after myself and get rid of everything negative in my life. I’m not upset or I never have been for losing him, but it was heartbreaking to lose myself and everything that I stood for. What I was going on in my head was a secret I kept for a long time because I was ashamed and I didn’t want to speak up about it, but I am now because I know there are other people in the situation I was in and no matter how alone or ashamed you feel, it’s not worth staying there.

Although I thought everything was okay, he was the source of everything that was going wrong in my life, he left me frazzled and stressed most of the time. Emotionally abusive people are so manipulative and many people suffer because of them. I was constantly convinced that I was in the wrong and he tried to convince everyone that I was the crazy one after the break-up, but I think that was just to protect himself.

I felt for so long that I wasn’t allowed to speak up on the abusive things he did because I was personally going through a hard time. I thought I loved him so I dealt with the misery and once I broke up with him I realised I was missing out on so much.

I thought someday that our relationship would be happy so I kept waiting and that’s the biggest regret I have in life. Obviously, blocking this person on social media was the best thing I did.

It took me months to do it because I wanted to remain civil but then I realised that it wasn’t petty or childish to delete him. I realised that he was so toxic to my life that I didn’t want him to be able to contact me at all.

I wanted to heal from everything I was put through and move on peacefully and happily.

I still struggle to believe that people can find the ‘love of their life’ at college because I know I probably would’ve been traded in for a free bag of cans.

Being in an unhappy and loveless relationship was horrible, especially when I didn’t realise that's what it was. I am disappointed in myself for settling so quickly with the wrong person. I spent a long time with someone who impacted my mental and physical health for the worse.

It’s heartbreaking to reflect back and realise that I changed into a person certain people didn’t want anything to do with.I was quite unstable so people were afraid to tell me what was happening behind my back, which was probably fair. But this made me realise that hurting someone with the truth is better than making them happy with a lie.

I think I understand what love is since I went to college, I didn’t at the beginning. I understand that it is more complicated and stressful than it is made out to be but if you find it with the right person it can be exciting.

I am happy that I have moved on, I never went through that depressing break-up period which everyone expected me to. I honestly felt a great weight lifted of my shoulders once I ended it. I look back and I don’t think I was in love with him, I just thought that all of my problems would disappear if I had a person to be with.

I’ve had my bit of fun since ending my relationship. I became more sociable, less insecure, made many new friends and experiences.

My ex-boyfriend has shown some jealousy towards this, but I can’t apologise for how I chose to repair what he broke.

I have felt the ‘butterfly feeling’ but never with him. Surprisingly, there has been someone since then that has made me feel unrelentless, who never walked over me or took advantage, who admired my thoughts, ideas and my quirky sense of humour.

But the thing is, I’m only 20 and I have plenty of time to settle and I think there’s nothing wrong with being meticulous when choosing to be with someone.

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Last night, the Domestic Violence Bill passed its final stages in the Dáil, putting in place important measures that will aid victims of psychological abuse. 

This move follows a recent report from Women's Aid that they received 10,281 disclosures of emotional abuse during 2017. 

In order to help the victims of such abuse, some of this law's key measures include improving courts access for victims and criminalising controlling behaviour. The bill still has to go back to the Seanad before the President can sign it into law.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan says that the Domestic Violence Bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation passed by the Oireachtas in 2018.

"The new offence of coercive control sends a clear consistent message that non-violent control in an intimate relationship is criminal," he told BreakingNews.ie.

"The effect of such behaviour may be as harmful to victims as physical abuse because it's an abuse of the unique trust associated with intimate relationships."

Women's Aid Director Margaret Martin commended the passing of the new legislation, and the light it sheds on the fact that abuse goes beyond the physical.

"It's really important that there is move away to understand that domestic violence actually includes so many different forms – whether it's physical, emotional, sexual or financial," she noted.

"An awful lot of people, they may never be physically abused but they may live with the high level of fear and threat and control and I think it's great to see that that's now going to be an offence."

Fianna Fail TD Jim O'Callaghan says that this is also a teaching moment, and more needs to be done to educate young men on how abusing women is unacceptable.

"The only way we are going to be able to resolve the problem and ensure that domestic violence is reduced is through a legislative response – we have that here, but also we need further responses," he observed.

"We need in particular to be able to educate and inform young men of the unacceptability of using violence against women."

We are heartened to hear that the Domestic Violence Bill will help victims of abuse receive the protection and support they need.

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