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The Relationship Bill of Rights

During a dating violence and healthy relationships workshop, I learned about “The Relationship Bill of Rights.” It’s basically an agreement between you and your partner that states that the relationship is based on equality and respect. The idea is for you to show the “Bill of Rights” to your boyfriend or girlfriend at the start of a relationship.

At first, I found the idea quite silly, but after some thought, it actually seemed like it could be helpful. Even though I was embarrassed, I asked my new boyfriend to read it and sign it, and he did—without laughing about it at all.

The Relationship Bill of Rights

I hereby declare that I have the following rights in my dating relationships. I also recognize and respect that all other people are entitled to the same rights at all times:

1. To have and express my own feeling and opinions, whether or not others agree.
2. To make decisions about myself and have equal decision-making power in my relationships.
3. To say “no” to physical closeness or any other act that makes me uncomfortable, at any time.
4. To refuse a date at any time.
5. To choose my own friends and maintain relationships with those friends.
6. To participate in activities that do not include my boyfriend or girlfriend.
7. To control my own money and other possessions.
8. To live free from fear and abuse.
9. To end a relationship.

___________________________ ___________________________
Signature Signature


This bill of rights was adapted from The Teen Relationships Workbook and is used by the city’s NYC Healthy Relationship Training Academy.

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