Relationship Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution to ensure the federal government did not trample the rights of the people. At the time, many contested the Bill of Rights saying that the federal government had no power that was not explicitly enumerated in the Constitution, so there was no need to spell out the Peoples' rights.
Well, it's a good thing we do have the Bill of Rights because today it serves to remind the government to stay in its' own lane.
Like our country's Bill of Rights, there should be no need for a Partner's Bill of Rights within a relationship. However, when you love someone, it is easy to blur the boundary lines between "me" and "you" as two merge into "one relationship." When you consider that in an abusive relationship there is one partner fighting to completely engulf the other partner into him or herself, then the boundary lines easily become non-existent.
No matter what the Constitution of your relationship, it is a good idea to keep in mind the following inalienable rights.
1.) Freedom to Speak, Think, and Do
Neither partner shall limit or attempt to limit the speech, thoughts or actions of the other. Each partner has the right to discuss differences of opinion in a mutually safe environment. Individuals retain the right to peaceably leave the partner's presence if the partner's speech, thoughts, or actions seem designed to hurt, intimidate or harass.
2.) Freedom to Defend
Each partner may engage in reasonable defense of Self.
3.) Freedom to Live Unafraid
Each partner has the right to live in his or her home and within his or her own determination of personal space without oppression or forced subjugation of person, emotions, thoughts, actions or finances by partner or partner's guests.
4.) Freedom of Privacy
Each partner has the right to personal property that shall not be used, seized, trifled with or otherwise considered to be the possession of the other partner.
5.) Freedom of Unwarranted Persecution
Each partner has the right to live free of persecution. Neither partner shall force the other to admit a character flaw or act of injustice against the partner or relationship that does not exist. Neither partner shall seize the others freedom, property, or life.
6.) Freedom to Obtain Outside Council
Each partner has a right to obtain just outside council in the form of therapy, conversations with friends and family, the church of his own belief, or any other such council independent of the partner, or to suggest joint council with the partner if he or she so desires.
7.) Freedom to Divide Property Equally
Each partner has the right to sever the relationship and request equitable distribution of property from the other at any time. If the dissolution or request is met with hostility or refusal, the affected partner may do all within his or her legal rights to obtain an equitable distribution. Once such distribution is made, neither partner shall force or coerce the other into giving over property determined to belong to the other.
8.) Freedom to Live Wholly and in Good Conscience
Each partner retains the freedom to live wholly and in good conscience. Both partners must accept that disagreements between the partners will occur. Neither partner may punish in any way the actions of the other that he or she deems immoral or harmful. Each partner retains the right to exit the relationship if such a severe discrepancy presents itself.
9.) Freedom to Retain Individual Definition of the Relationship
Each partner has the right to define for him or herself the description of the rules of the relationship or marriage. Neither partner may impose his or her own definition of relationship or marriage onto the other partner through intimidation or threat of mistreatment.
10.) Freedom to Act in Accordance With One's Own Beliefs
Each partner has the right to retain and to express his or her individuality so long as it does not violate the body or mind or spirit of the partner he or she proclaims to love. A partner who feels his or her body, mind or spirit undergoes violation by the other partner is free to act on that belief so long that he or she, in turn, does not perpetuate the cycle of violence. Each partner retains responsibility for his or her actions and may choose, at any time, to sever the relationship in order to enhance the individual's life, liberty and happiness.
Jo, K. (2011, September 1). Relationship Bill of Rights, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 7 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2011/09/abuse-victims-bill-of-rights
Author: Kellie Jo Holly
Kellie, this is so key. I'm printing it out and posting it on my wall!