Your Bill of Rights

Photo by Nathan McBride on Unsplash

Compiled by Carol L.

In the beginning of healing from an abusive relationship, it is very helpful for women (and all people) to know their rights as human beings. This is a strong foundational basis to build upon. Every victim of abuse needs to understand their true value and worth. Below are examples.

You have the right to be you

You have the right to put yourself first

You have the right to be safe

You have the right to love and be loved

You have the right to be treated with respect

​You have the right to be human – NOT PERFECT

You have the right to be angry and protest if you are treated unfairly or abusively by anyone

You have the right to your own privacy

You have the right to your own opinions, to express them, and to be taken seriously

You have the right to earn and control your own money

You have the right to ask questions about anything that affects your life

You have the right to grow and change (and that includes changing your mind)

You have the right to say NO

You have the right to make mistakes

You have the right NOT to be responsible for other adults’ problems

You have the right not to be liked by everyone

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CONTROL YOUR OWN LIFE AND TO CHANGE IT IF YOUR ARE NOT HAPPY WITH IT AS IT IS

Goodman and Fallon, Pattern Changing for Abused Women, Sage Publications, 1995

I have the right…

…not to be abused – physically, emotionally, or sexually

…to be treated with respect

…to express my own opinions

…to private time and my own space

…to have friends of my own

…to hear about my strengths and assets

…to ask others for help if I need it

…to live a violence-free life

…to change my mind, to fall out of love, and live with no threats

…to accept a gift without having to give anything in return

…to pursue my own special interests – and not be criticized for pursuing them

…to have my needs considered as much as my partner’s

 From Respect: Teen Dating Bill of Rights

​I have the right to:

…trust myself and my instincts

…be respected as a person

…change my mind

…express my feelings

…refuse a date

From the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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