When Relationships Go From Safe To Sinister

What is dating abuse, and why is it sometimes difficult to recognise?

This post originally appeared on Campus.ie

I, like many 16 year old girls, read Twilight. There’s nothing I like more than a good romance novel. And while I enjoyed the book in spite of its awkward turns of phrase and the two dimensional characters, the thing that disturbed me was how stalking was idealised.

In the beginning there’s lots of longing looks. Then Edward follows Bella when she goes out with her friends. Then she wakes up one night to find him in her bedroom.

I don’t care how in love you are with a person, that’s insanely creepy. Even if you were living with someone, and madly in love, I would find it odd if the person was sitting at the end of the bed staring at you while you sleep.

In fact, the relationship in Twilight meets all 15 of the criteria associated with being in an abusive relationship, where one is enough.

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