The hashtag that confronts the side of abuse people don’t speak of, is one that has women from all over the world talking about. As of late, I’ve come across several hundred tweets and other social media posts about the trending topic of #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou. Unfortunately, abuse in non-physical ways have become commonplace for young women to experience during a relationship. In fact, 1 in 4 women will endure domestic violence at some point in their lives. There are things that I’ve faced personally – some of the things I’ve read about that I could easily relate to. Other posts have absolutely troubled me, and I wonder how and why this social epidemic has gotten to the point that it’s at now.
Created by artist Zahira Kelly in early May 2016, this hashtag has since taken on its own complexity. It now has several different meanings behind it, each one holding its own individual significance. Some use the hashtag to indicate that seeking control over someone is indeed a sign of abuse or impending abusive actions. Others use the hashtag to bring attention to verbal and emotional abuse that is just as damaging as physical domestic abuse.
Examples of what women experience can be found within the 140 character limit, and though concise, their statements are moving, powerful and are nevertheless…troubling. The few testimonies that I’m going to share are among the many that hit me the hardest, simply because I’ve experienced the exact same thing in previous relationships. Personally, I know that it was not easy for me to even recognize that these things were happening, even when others told me from the outside looking in. So, before I say anything further, I would like to give kudos to the thousands of people – both male and female – who are able to realize and recognize the actual abuse that they’re enduring or have endured. If any of this feels like it applies to you, don’t wait to discuss it with someone. You are never alone.
Remember that relationship abuse comes in many forms, and most times, goes unnoticed because it’s not physical. Also keep in mind that relationship abuse involves one party taking full advantage of the trust and commitment of a relationship. It’s personal, it takes precedent over everything, and it is not something to be ashamed of, or difficult to address. I've found there to be about four recurring sub-topics under the umbrella of non-physical abuse, and I've pulled statements by both men and women from Twitter that further exemplify the categories.
Attempt at total control:
Sometimes, non-physical abuse will come in the form of either physical or non-physical control. An attempt to gain control over the other party is indeed a sign of abuse. Communication is always a key player in any relationship and will help alleviate built up stress between one another that could result in controlling actions. What I’ve experienced in the past is incredibly similar to the comments from other women that I’ve seen regarding this issue in particular. Guys will act out of fear or jealousy and we are inevitably the ones who are chosen to cushion the blow of their emotional turmoil.
#maybehedoesnthityou but he tries to control who you talk to, where you go, what friends you can have, and acts like it's out of love.
- sailor mourn ⚰ (@detricotage)
#maybehedoesnthityou but you need his approval for everything and he treats you like property and not a person
- Keegan Kenzie (@Keegannnnn)
#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he won't let you go home or see your friends very often or at all.
- Akilah Hughes (@AkilahObviously)
Degrading and insulting:
Often times, emotional abuse is just as damaging as physical abuse. I, in no way, am undermining physical abuse in the least; however, I think it’s just as important to address emotional and mental abuse in the same manner. Many of us girls have experienced a point in a relationship where your partner has said something or done something that made you feel like you’re less than a person. Do not stand for anyone who projects his or her own negativity within their selves as a reflection of you.
#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he never lets you forget that he could leave you for someone prettier, less "slutty," less emotional, less damaged.
- Ella Dawson (@brosandprose)
#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he ridicules your interests and hobbies to the point that he is able to mold you into the woman he wants to be with
- lara (@creepygrrl)
Instilling and instigating fear:
Women have also expressed times where they were in a relationship out of fear of being alone or not being loved by anyone. Most often, someone who they’ve been in a romantic relationship with implants this fear. It’s not always about what they say – it’s the way they treat you as though you’re not worthy of someone else’s love. Stemming from a need for control, guys will make us feel as though we should be lucky we’re with them. Most times, this is a trust issue and can be solved (again) by communicating personal fears, rather than acting on them.
#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he's conditioned you into thinking you're supposed to ask him before you hang out with other male friends
- suga cane (@Spungke)
#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he makes sure you believe that you're too broken/damaged to ever be wanted by anyone else
- Just Juanita (@Just_Juanita)
#maybehedoesnthityou but he says you should be grateful he doesn't
- audrey honeydrone (@singing_ghosts)
Additionally, relationship abuse can be found when one party is constantly placing blame on the other, feels as though the other person is always wrong, or questioning their personal decisions regarding the relationship. This, often times, is a personal issue within the aggressor – they may feel guilty, they may not know how to handle their emotions or fears, or they may not respect the other person enough to stay humble and admit fault of their own. No matter what the case, if you’ve ever felt as though you’re getting blamed for issues within the relationship, it may be time to hit the road. If your partner can not have a conversation with you about an issue – rather, they simply tell you when you did wrong and move on – then you need to understand what’s actually going on.
#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but when you're mad at him, he'll still find a way to twist the blame around to you.
- antonio (@antoniodelotero)
#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he brings up ur mental illness during fights to invalidate ur concerns w his behavior & put the ultimate blame on u
- brave new girl (@jersing)
I’ve included statements within this article that really hit me hard on a personal level – I’ve experienced everything discussed. I know what it’s like to be with someone who doesn’t respect you, who brings you down, who tries to change you into the person they want you to be. I know what it’s like to feel trapped, to feel useless and hopeless and worthless. However, it actually helped me to know that I wasn’t alone in feeling this way, even though my experiences happened in the past. I thought for a long time whether I was over exaggerating my sense of self-worth by standing up for myself in these types of situations. I know now that my decision to cut ties and move on (although several times) was the right decision. I can’t stress enough how important it is for both men and women to really evaluate their relationships – past or present. Really ask yourself if you feel as though the other person is with you for you or with you to suit themselves.
If you, or someone you know is experiencing emotional, mental or physical abuse, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.
 Data taken from SafeVoices at www.safevoices.org. This is an organization that supports and empowers those who have suffered or are suffering from domestic violence. 24 hour hotline: 1-800-559-2927
 Confidential hotline for domestic abuse: 1−800−799−7233
Additional source Credit: http://www.attn.com/stories/8198/maybehedoesnthityou-twitter-exposes-non-physical-abuse
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