The end of Fall marked the end of another Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, which has been celebrated annually since 1987. On campuses around the United States, students endure abuse from their partners regularly. Abuse isn’t just physical—it is emotional as well. When your partner is controlling, demeaning, or threatening toward you, that is abuse. Words can hurt just as much as, or even more than, hands. And just because they apologize doesn’t mean it won’t continue.
According to Click to Empower, one in four women experience domestic violence, which means out of you and three of your best friends, one will most likely be in an abusive relationship. In college, I feel like domestic assault isn’t taken seriously, which is beyond irritating. Growing up, I witnessed domestic abuse first-hand, so I know the impact it has on a woman and the people in her life. I can’t fathom how someone would stay in a relationship where her significant other emotionally or physically abuses her—and I really don’t get how some make excuses for abuse and blame themselves. Although most people think of domestic violence as an issue that primarily impacts women, only 84 percent of victims are female. This is an issue that impacts people of every gender, race, and age. More people should be aware that this is happening.
In the past few years, domestic violence has been huge in the media. From Teen Mom’s Amber Portwood facings charges for attacking her baby-daddy on national TV, to Chris Brown beating down Rihanna in 2009, the entertainment industry shows that anyone can be a victim of spousal abuse. No matter who you are, you can become a victim, and it is important to know that you are not alone.
So if you think a friend may be suffering from an abusive partner, or if you are concerned that you may be in an abusive relationship, check the signs. Also, if you or a person you know is suffering from an abusive relationship, you can call the Womenspace 24-hour hotline at (541) 485-6513. Don’t be afraid to seek help! Remember: domestic abuse is never the victim’s fault, and you do not have to be stuck in a dangerous situation. Whether it is emotional or physical, abuse is abuse.
Image from http://www.glogster.com/stephanievirzi