Maybe He Doesn't Hit You

Maybe He Doesn't Hit You

But that does not mean it isn't abuse.

When someone says the words "relationship violence," the first thing that people tend to think about is the idea of being slapped in the face, or pushed down the stairs, or punched in the gut. However, this is not the only type of relationship violence that exists. Both emotional and verbal abuse are not only increasingly common in today's society, but incredibly damaging. Although verbal and emotional abuse show no outward signs of damage, internally, the bruises still exist.

Recently, a Twitter hashtag has sprung up to battle the notion that all relationship violence is physical. Users share stories and examples of how psychological abuse can be just as damaging as violent abuse.

These are just a few of the thousands of tweets shared over the last few days regarding the topic.

The hashtag was started by Zahira Kelly, an artist and writer, in order to raise awareness about the different kinds of abuse. Although I am not generally a proponent of using a platform such as Twitter to promote such sensitive and controversial topics, I believe that the movement is incredibly effective.

Showing Twitter users, in 140 characters or less, different aspects of relationship violence is actually very helpful. Users have the ability to flip through hundreds of tweets in just a few minutes. This means that users have now been exposed to many different ideas, perspectives, and stories from users around the country and the world that they would not have known otherwise.

Not only does this give information to those who may not know much about the topic, but the hashtag also gives victims an opportunity to speak out about their own struggles. Additionally, victims have the ability to read through other users stories, relate to, and communicate quickly and easily with those who have suffered through similar situations.

Although the hashtag focuses on non-physical relationship violence, that does not mean that violent behavior is uncommon in relationships. Every nine seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten by a partner or an ex-partner. However, relationship violence does not only occur towards women. Between 2014 and 2015 in the United Kingdom, 1.3 million women and 600,000 men experienced some form of domestic violence. It is an issue that crosses all genders, socio-economic statuses, and age groups.

The issue of relationship violence is becoming more and more prominent amongst younger generations. Roughly 1.5 million high school aged boys and girls in the United States admitted to being sexually or physically abused by a romantic partner within the past year. About one out of every three people will be in an unhealthy relationship at some point in their lives. Approximately 50 percent of people who have experienced sexual or physical assault will attempt suicide at some point during their life. However, only 33 percent of people who experience abuse confide in someone about their abuse.

This goes to show just how important #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou really is. The hashtag encourages Twitter users, a social media site particularly common amongst young people, to speak out about relationship violence.

If the hashtag saves just one life, or helps just one person realize that they are in an unhealthy relationship, I consider it a success.

Cover Image Credit: Boston

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I Don't Refrigerate My Ketchup And Neither Should YOu

No this isn't really an article about ketchup

DISCLAIMER: If you expect to read an entire article about a bottle of Heinz, you are about to be severely let down.

You read the title right, I, nor does my family, refrigerate their ketchup bottles. It always kind of had to do with the concept of not liking col Look it up people! Contrary to popular belief, a ketchup bottle is not required to be refrigerated. Just think about all those room temperature bottles sitting on the tables of restaurants legitimately EVERYWHERE. So you may think I'm a weirdo (I mean, in part, you're not wrong), but to each their own. Maybe I do things a little differently, but just because it isn't your way, doesn't mean it's wrong. That doesn't mean you shouldn't carve your own path.

We hear it time and time again; you can be anything you want to be, as long as we work hard to get there. We'll even hear that it may be difficult to get there, but sometimes we aren't clued into the concept that the destination we strive to reach may not have a path associated with it yet. Perhaps it is you who has to create it. A linear path is boring, so go explore, go design, go make the most of this world. In doing so, you are shaping yourself and your own character, your own identity. If we followed the same path as the person before us, we would be stripping ourselves of innovation. In short, we'd be really freaking boring.

Why are we so quick to follow the leader? Why do we take the shortcuts? Why don't we trust ourselves in discovering some really amazing things in this life? I invite you to take a step out of your comfort zone and see this world from a different vantage point. I encourage you to trust your gut and go after what you've had your eye on for all this time. I applaud you for knowing that any journey will take time and great effort and that what you put in is what you get out, but that has not seemed to stop you yet. Along the way, you may turn heads; people may question your motives, some may be envious of your courage, but whatever you do, do not second guess the fact that you are not a sheep in the herd. You are leading the way to so much more.

Attached to this is appreciating that other people are carving their own paths as well, that we cannot get everyone to be on board with our ideas. In attempting to do so, I'd absolutely be dispelling what I've written about sticking to your guns for the past three paragraphs. So yes, there are a million ways to get from Point A to Point B. Some may seem practical, some may seem longwinded, some may require creativity, and some may be difficult to envision, but each invites us to take on a new perspective, to see life through a different lens. This breeds the opportunity to learn from human beings, see what sets their heart aflame. This is where we take a step back from our routines and our sense of normalcy and see the world through the eyes of someone else. This is where we master the art of compromise, put away our stubbornness for awhile and see how two ideas can merge together to create another innovative opportunity.

In my short 22 years, I learned early that if my options are slim, I can create my own. If my values are not matched with the world I am surrounded by, make a change. If my path and your path cross over and we don't get along, tell me about it, so I can learn and gain more understanding for this big, vast, place we live in. So really, try this whole ketchup thing. Be your own person. Don't be afraid to slip away from these hypothetical standards that we hold ourselves to. Set yourself a part and go after whatever it is you've been eyeing. You'll only be mad at yourself if you don't. And on the real, try not refrigerating your ketchup, it really is quite liberating.

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Time's Up: #WhyWeWearBlack

What to Know About the Movement

One in 3 women ages 18-34 have been sexually harassed at work. 71% of those women said they did not report it. #TimesUp

Nearly 1/2 of men think women are well represented in leadership roles and 1/3 of women think women are well represented in leadership roles. The reality is, only 1 in 10 senior leaders are women. #TimesUp

Exploitation is higher among those working low-wage service jobs. When the federal minimum wage is raised, sexual assault + harassment gets cut in half. #TimesUp

The 75th Golden Globes red carpet was less red than it was black. Both women and men attended the awards in black to protest the sexual misconduct happening in Hollywood. Brought up by the allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, there have been many allegations of sexual harassment and assault against men in Hollywood and other industries.

The movement was created by the new organization Time's Up, an initiative to eradicate sexual harassment and gender inequality in the workplace along with the creation of a legal defense fund. The group has raised over $15 million already for the fund, and the number is only increasing.

Time's Up also supplied pins to be worn on the red carpet and almost every attendee showed up in black. The organization's open letter, with the support of over 300 actors, actresses, directors, writers, producers, etc was released January 1st and is now on their website.

There has been a lot of talk of controversy over the movement and the way they chose to go about it. The goal of wearing black was more than ruining the best-dressed competition as talk of the pre-show is often about the dresses, jewelry, and hairstyles.

The goal was to take this talk and steer it towards the movement's agenda; to create equality for everyone in the workplace. Many women spoke about their personal reasons and experiences that impacted their choice to wear black to the awards.

The timing is also notable. As of January 1st, it has been exactly a year since the historic women's marches took place.

#WhyWeWearBlack has been talked about both controversially and in positive light, and this was ultimately the overall goal of the movement, to get society talking about the sexual abuse happening in the workplace and we need to make a change. Time's Up is only the beginning, and this demonstration was a huge step in the #Metoo movement as well as a large victory for feminists overall.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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