Domestic Violence and Abuse

http://www.creativeadawards.com/hurt-girl/

http://www.creativeadawards.com/hurt-girl/

Helen Landry, Journalist

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Unfortunately, one of the biggest issues that plagues Americans today, is one that is often forgotten. The issue of domestic violence and abuse is a very real one. Oftentimes, victims feel scared or embarrassed about the situation they are in, so they don’t come forward. They hide what’s really going on. From personal experience, I know how it feels to be scared to come forward. I know how it feels to be embarrassed. America has a huge stigma against violence in relationships. Often times people feel like they will be judged by the ones they love and care about for not coming forward sooner. Victims oftentimes feel like they have let everyone around them down by letting the abuse continue to happen, so the easier solution is to continue hiding it, and let life go on as normal no matter how much they might be suffering. It’s important to remember that it’s not the victims fault. Even if they provoked their attacker, violence is not the way to handle it. If you think that someone you know is a victim of verbal or physical abuse of any kind, some good ways to show that you are there for them are….

 

  • Let them know they can contact you at anytime
  • Let them know that if they ever need to get away from a situation, they can call you to come pick them up.
  • Explain to them that you won’t judge them for anything that has happened, and that you are there for them no matter what
  • Provide them with domestic abuse hotlines such as The National Domestic Abuse Hotline 1-800-799-7233. A victim can call and talk to someone they don’t know personally about the abuse and situation they are in. Often times it’s easier to talk to someone not directly connected to you.

 

Something important to remember is that most victims of abuse or violence, not just domestic, usually don’t want people to know. If you ask someone directly, they are more than likely going to say that everything is fine, and not to worry. A better way to approach the situation is to ask how the relationship is, and to ask broad questions allowing the victim to bring it up when he/she is ready. In my opinion, the hardest thing for me was realizing that no matter how many times they apologize, no matter how many times they say they will never do it again, most of the time they will. Unfortunately by letting them back  into your life after they have abused you, you are rewarding bad behavior, and they recognize that you won’t put up a fight. If you are ever caught in a relationship with someone that verbally or physically abuses you, the best thing you can do for yourself is recognize they aren’t going to stop, and that you need to remove yourself immediately.

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