After using Lady Mary Chudliegh's poem "To the Ladies" to look more closely at the institution of marriage as it existed in Elizabethan and Jacobean England, we were lucky enough to have a special guest visitor. This guest, Kristen Plummer (SAVES advocate extraordinaire), used our understanding of the controlling and abusive relationships presented in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew as a means of talking about these same issues in our modern relationships.
Ms. Plummer handed all of you strips of orange paper, on which you wrote an abusive or controlling technique used in The Taming of the Shrew to, well, "tame" the women in the play. On the other side of the paper, you then wrote an example that relates to something that you've seen or experienced in our culture. The resulting discussion was powerful and showed that both guys and girls face issues of control in modern relationships.
Each of the orange strips were tied on to our brave volunteer. As this activity progressed, it became clear that control and possessiveness and abuse can really pile on weight in an unhealthy relationship. We did not get a chance to talk about every slip of paper, but the message was clear: Forcing someone to love you and spend time with you does not equal health in a relationship. Thanks, Kristen!