Why Domestic Violence Awareness Is Important

Why Domestic Violence Awareness Is Important

One in four women experience domestic violence during their life.

According to Alpha Chi Omega, one in four women experience domestic violence during their life. Three out of four Americans know someone personally affected by domestic violence. And, on average, three or more woman are murdered a day by their husband or boyfriend. Are you feeling uncomfortable yet? You should be.

Domestic Violence Awareness is Alpha Chi Omega's national philanthropy. Our mission is to educate others on the topic, prevent it, and help those who are or were affected by it. Domestic violence, by definition of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, is a “pattern of coercive behaviors used to control an intimate partner.” Domestic violence does not include only physical abuse. It includes mental abuse by threatening, blaming, isolation, dominance, intimidation, and denial.

There is generally a cycle that domestic abuse follows. It begins with tension building, incident, reconciliation, and calm. During tension building, victims feel scared and weak, and as though they need to satisfy the abuser to avoid violence. Then an incident occurs; this can be physical, verbal, or emotional. During reconciliation, the abuser apologizes and attempts to earn back trust from the victim. This is often where denial and blaming occurs to the victim from the abuser. Lastly, the calm after the storm. The incident is seen as though it never occurred and the victim is no longer abused, but treated well (The Cycle of Abuse).

Domestic violence rarely occurs between strangers. According to the US Department of Justice, more often than not, the act is performed by someone known to the victim, whether it be a friend, peer, classmate, boyfriend, husband, etc.

These facts are not easy to take in, that is why we need you. Educating others and learning how to prevent domestic violence are two keys in lowering the rates. Learning how to recognize early signs up violence such as controlling, blaming, threatening, help individuals get out of situations before it becomes too late. If you are exposed to a situation where you see another individual in this type of situation, step in and make a difference, do not just be a bystander. Domestic violence is not an act that only affects women, however, the statistics are higher. Make a difference by providing service to shelters, donating clothes to those who cannot financially afford it, educate others on signs of violence.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. This is a scenario that is incredibly common, especially for women ages 20-24. As stated previously, one in four women are affected by domestic violence at some point in their life. The situation is also one to go highly unnoticed as victims rarely come forward. As researched by the National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, "only approximately one-quarter of all physical assaults, one-fifth of all rapes, and one-half of all stalkings perpetuated against females by intimate partners are reported to the police." Victims are often diagnosed with PTSD from such attacks. These attacks affect their lives in numerous ways such as being fearful of relationships, growing anxiety, lost trust, and so much more.

One incident can impact an individual for a lifetime. Make a difference, take a stand, end domestic violence.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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I Hate My Chest And Society Does Too Because It Has More Tissue Than Someone Who Was Born Male

I hate my chest, always have and always will- it hurts me physically, mentally, and emotionally.


Before I start this let me clarify that I was assigned female at birth. Let me also say that I do not agree with my birth assigned gender. At this point in my life I still have female sex characteristics but I present in a masculine and androgynous way. This article will not go into my gender identity because it is a topic that is not safe for me to discuss on a public platform at this time. From this point forward I will refer to my breast tissue as my "chest" because that is the term that I am most comfortable using to describe that area of my body.

Before I hit puberty I had perfect posture and rode horses. This was a time in my life where I had never been touched by a training bra or any other form of pain around my rib cage. About a year into riding horses I got into a really bad accident on one of the horses and quit for good, this was one of the biggest mistakes of my life because I miss it often. Three years later I was home sick from school and my mom made me wear a pastel pink training bra because it was "that time". I was terrified and felt sicker than I did before. The next day when I went back to school I immediately started getting bullied. Both girls and boys would pop the back of my bra, point out my chest, and much more. Ever since then my chest has been covered and my posture has gone to shit.

The past three years I have only worn "regular" bras when the pain in my shoulders, back, and ribs becomes unbearable. Every single day I wear compression sports bras or binders to cover my increasingly large chest that I inherited from my biological fathers side of the family. I've never identified with my chest nor have I ever wanted it. Each day I can feel my shoulders moving forward, my ribs caving in, and the knots in my back growing. The pain is unbearable. My insurance, like most, doesn't cover top surgery. Hell, my insurance doesn't even cover chiropractic care. I would give anything for top surgery and I would love to have my joints cracked professionally on a weekly basis as well.

Why not wear a regular bra? Well, because then my chest sticks out and I look like someone I'm not. Even with a binder on or a sports bra I already look too feminine; so a regular bra screams "I'm a chick".

At this point I have two options: tape and surgery. Two days ago I bought tape to try and help flatten my chest and censor myself for the rest of the world because god forbid someone sees a nipple through a shirt. The tape that I bought is made for people like me, people with chest dysphoria. This tape will also release the tension in areas of my body where I feel pain so I won't have to "wear" anything. Eventually I will get surgery. Not soon enough… Never soon enough. But it will happen. The day I get top surgery is the day that I will be free from pain- mentally, emotionally, and physically.

My chest is full of tissue just like yours. I don't like mine and you may love yours or hate yours. Either way, why am I forced to cover mine? The amount of physical pain that I feel is unreal. Hopefully the tape will help for now… But seriously, what's the big deal with censorship? Why do I have to cover my chest other than because I don't like it?

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