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Human Rights Violations in Relationships

Updated on March 19, 2019
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Grace has a degree in Social Sciences. She has a partner and believes that partners should support and love each other unconditionally.

How are human rights violated in relationships?

Often when we speak of human rights one of the first topics that come to people's minds are voting rights, the right to education, the right to safe drinking water, the right to public services, etc. It is only a fair number of individuals who are interested in having conversations about how human rights are violated in relationships and how such problems can be addressed. Each individual has the right to freedom of speech and freedom of choice, and should not be manipulated into making a decision they are not comfortable with. In some circumstances, culture and/or religion have some influence on the violation of human rights in relationships. Sometimes individuals are not even aware that their rights are being violated, and made to believe that everything that they are experiencing is supposed to happen. However, in some cases individuals are very aware of how their human rights are being violated, but are afraid of speaking out because of the consequences that might come with speaking out.

Human rights violations in marriages and among unmarried couples

Marriage comes with a lot of changes and expectations, some are positive, however, some could possibly be negative. As a married man or woman you are expected to make collective decisions with your partner and make compromises to make your union stronger. Every decision that you make you need to consider how it is going to affect your partner and children, if you have children. In this article we are going to focus mostly on the violation of women's rights in marriages. Yes women are no longer restricted from taking independent choices as they were decades ago, however, you will be surprised by a huge number of women out there in different regions of the world who are still victims of unfair traditions that are being passed on from generation to generation.

In most cultures, mostly in the African continent, men are believed to be heads of households and the wife is expected to follow instructions from her husband and abide by the rules set by her husband. During the wedding proceedings, the elders sit down with bride and outline to her all that is expected from her as a wife and how she is expectedly supposed to hold on to the marriage no matter how challenging it gets. One could possibly ask why people get married if they are aware of all the negative experiences that they might go through if they get married to a particular individual. When you are not yet married to your partner, you get the chance to understand your partner, you have the time to analyse your partner's behaviour, learn about their traditions and spirituality.

People get married even when they know that getting married is probably not the best option. Marriage comes with various benefits, for some individuals of course, it also comes with societal recognition. Married couples are dignified and respected by society, therefore people stay married even when their freedom is taken from them.

If you are being physically assaulted by your partner, your human rights are being violated, every individual has a right to live in a safe environment with no fear of being physically attacked. It is shocking how some cultures still permit physical attacks by husbands on their wives as a way of instilling "discipline". Both men and women should understand that there is no individual who has a right to physically assault you, regardless of their anger or your behaviour as their partner.

Sexual harassment is another form of human right violation that occurs in relationships. Individuals should understand that their bodies do not belong to their partners and if you do not want to be sexually active with your partner at a particular moment, you have the right to refuse. There are also individuals who choose to be unfaithful to their partners by being sexually active outside their marriage or relationship. Having multiple sex partners puts you at the risk of contacting Sexually Transmitted Infections. Someone who is sexually active outside their "main" relationship poses a risk on their partners health, every one has a right to a healthy lifestyle, your partner should not violate your rights by depriving you from living a healthy life.

Unfortunately, human rights violators can even go as far as manipulating their partners to ensure that they stay married to them or remain in that particular relationship; by threatening to take away something that means a lot to them. For instance, if the violator is more financially stable and economically active than the victim, they could threaten to take up an extremely high percentage of the estate and fight for full custody of the children. Therefore, some individuals choose to remain in a relationship with their sexually, physically or emotionally abusive partners to avoid losing something that means the world to the them. It is very sad how some of the victims' lives in abusive relationships end up being taken.


What to do if your human rights are being violated in a relationship

Those whose rights are violated by their partners should separate with their partners by seeking help and advice from people they trust, the police and legal bodies to ensure that they do not put their lives in danger as a result of the separation. However, for those who choose to stay in their relationships even when they are aware that their rights are being violated, should find alternative ways of ensuring that they are protected. For instance, if you are physically assaulted by your partner you can take self defense classes or learn self defence techniques from articles and books. If you are aware that your partner is sexually active outside your relationship, you could use contraceptives to protect yourself from getting Sexually Transmitted Infections or if your partner wants to somehow force to have more children you could take contraceptives to ensure that you do not fall pregnant. If you are emotionally abused, you can book an appointment with a therapist.

Do you know anyone who is being abused by their partner and still in a relationship with the abuser?

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© 2019 Grace

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