By: Francis Mojica, BSW, BSOC, MHSA
Triple-S Salud Clinical Management Program Coordinator

Loving, caring for and respecting yourself should be fundamental principles for good emotional health and strengthening self-love. When people recognize who they are and what they want or desire, they limit the possibility of expressing toxic or stressful relationships that can affect their behavior and environment.

Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of behavior exercised by a partner in an intimate relationship. Its purpose is to control or maintain absolute power over someone who could experience physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse. However, the first tool to prevent domestic violence is to promote self-esteem and self-love. People must value themselves, define their limits and make decisions based on their needs.

Among the relationships that you could identify with a risk of emotional, physical or sexual violence are:

  • Intermittent Relationships: These are those in which communication is usually unstable, not very assertive, and interferes with feedback and verbalizing emotions or desires.
  • Codependent Relationships: Control and obsessive attitude of one person towards another.
  • Authoritarian Relationships: A person who imposes control and decision-making at their will over the other is identified.
  • Relationships of convenience: One person benefits from the other legitimately or illegitimately.

Identifying these types of relationships increases your self-love and strengthens your decision to end the relationship. It is essential to communicate your emotions, observations, and determination to your support resources since they will be able to offer you a safe environment.

Who are your support resources?

  • Family Members
  • Friends
  • Neighbors
  • Healthcare Professionals

How do you strengthen self-esteem and increase self-love?

  • Learn to Say No: Respecting limits is an excellent strategy to develop high self-esteem.
  • Know what you want: Don’t allow other people to hurt you. Make decisions based on your own needs and not those of others.
  • Respect your body: It means valuing the most important person. Visit your doctor and get annual preventive tests.
  • Take care of your physical appearance: Exercise and maintain a healthy diet.
  • Take care of what you think: Always think positive ideas about yourself, your body and others.

Phrases to strengthen self-esteem:

  • I Love My-Self
  • I Live in Peace
  • I Am Beautiful
  • I Have the Right to Decide
  • I Am Responsible

You are not alone; you will find people who have gone through similar situations and been able to recover. It is determined to choose yourself before everything and everyone, in addition to looking for professionals who guide the process.

Suppose you are experiencing domestic violence or do not feel safe about your relationship. In that case, you can go to the nearest Police station or call:

  • Help Center for Victims of Violence of Puerto Rico (787) 765-2285 or 911
  • Office for the Comprehensive Development of Women Municipality of San Juan: (939) 266-8446
  • Guidance Line for Victims of Sexual Crimes: (787) 343-0000 and Matria Project: (787) 489-0022.