This blog is guest-written by Hope House staff members Lee Marlin (Director of Marketing) and Diane Marty (Vice President of Development). The topic was suggested by more than one of their friends and associates. As neither had yet read the book Twilight or seen the movie, guess what they did over Thanksgiving break? Below are their musings following the read-and-blog exercise. We – and especially Lee & Diane – would welcome your thoughts and feedback.
Blogs and newspaper articles (see, for instance, http://tinyurl.com/ydfqt5j) have been hot in the last two weeks discussing the unhealthy nature of Edward and Bella’s relationship.
Consider, as many blogs are pointing out, that Edward “[is] there every time she turns around (stalking), and constantly tells her where to go and what to do (controlling)”. Further, both Edward and Bella are poignantly aware that Bella is in constant danger that he might kill her at any moment.
One blog went through 15 Red Flags of Domestic Violence and answered “yes” to all of them in regards to Edward and Bella’s relationship. But Twilight fans responded with “Get real… he’s a vampire! It’s just a book! It’s just a movie!”
It’s not our position in sharing these thoughts that anyone should be dissuaded from reading the books or watching the movies. But when potentially dangerous behaviors become pop culture phenomena, let’s use it as a teachable moment.
Discuss the behaviors with friends and children reading the books or seeing the movies. Look into the red flags of an abusive relationship. (http://tinyurl.com/ydpy6rp) Talk with your teens (boys and girls) and your friends about what is and isn’t acceptable behavior in a relationship. Let them know that being in love shouldn’t mean being in danger.
A great online resource is http://www.loveisnotabuse.com/. This website has a section geared toward parents and another aimed at teens. They also have a peer-to-peer live chat where your teen can log on to ask questions if they’re reluctant to call a hotline.
If you are someone – or know someone – in a dangerous or potentially dangerous relationship, please call the Hope House hotline at 816-461-HOPE (4673).