October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Everyone Should Care

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Everyone Should Care

Love shouldn't hurt
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-1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.

-1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

-The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.

Source: https://ncadv.org/learn-more/statistics

"That won't happen to me."

"He hit me once, it won't happen again."

"It's my fault for provoking her."

"He'll change."

These are common phrases said when one is in an abusive relationship. It sounds familiar, and we want to believe that people will change. But it's not as simple as it sounds; there's nothing simple about abusive relationships.

One common misconception is why people stay in abusive relationships, "Why don't you leave?" People being abused in a relationship are scared to leave, and if it's already escalated to threats and physical harm, it makes leaving harder, it now becomes Russian Roulette: you're chancing your life and you never know when that bullet will come.

Why did Rihanna, Tina Turner, and Janay Rice stay with their abusive partners? Because they loved their significant others and truly believed they would change. As obvious as it is that they're in danger, we can't force people to see why they should break away. There's already psychological damage done, and they become less likely to resist, less likely to run.

Even if somebody is brave enough to leave a domestic violent relationship, there's still no guarantee it's over. The perpetrator becomes so wrapped up in getting their ex back, keep them in their control--they think it's love. It's sick, it's twisted, and it's scary.

There's an even scarier threat under the radar. In 2002, the D.C. Sniper shootings occurred, killing 17 people in a terrifying 23 day ordeal. While the nation was desperate for answers, the motive was shocking. John Muhammad, the mastermind of the massacre, was planning to kill his ex wife, but used the other senseless killings as a way to cover his tracks. Thankfully, his ex wife, Mildred, was never shot. But she has revealed in her marriage to Muhammad, she was abused by him, so severely that she had a restraining order put in place.

In 2016, Omar Mateen killed 50 people at the Orlando Pulse Nightclub. His ex wife, Sitora Yusufiy, revealed she was abused by him.

Studies have shown there are links between domestic violence and mass shootings. In 2009 to 2015, FBI data found that 57 percent of the cases included a spouse, former spouse or other family member among the victims — and that 16 percent of the attackers had previously been charged with domestic violence.(https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/16/world/americas/...) This is known as Intimate Terrorism, and not only can domestic violence endanger the victim in the relationship, but others around them.

Any of us could end up in a domestic violent relationship: men, women, celebrities, straight, gay, anybody. We need to do more as a society to protect each other, and ourselves. If you know somebody being abused, support them, not judge them. Offer resources, educate yourself, trust your instincts, take a stand to say domestic violence is wrong. It's our responsibility to take care of our loved ones, and that includes interfering and protecting them when they're being abused. We live in a scary world, but at least we can support each other in this scary world.

For more information and support for domestic violence:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

1-800-799-7233

No More:

https://nomore.org




Cover Image Credit: CNET

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Part 1: Necessary Changes

One of my favorite movies is "Fried Green Tomatoes" with Kathy Bates. In the movie Bates' character Evelyn Couch says, "Someone helped put a mirror up in front of my face, and I didn't like what I saw one bit. And you know what I did? I changed." I know the feeling.

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I looked in the mirror over the weekend and didn't like what I saw.

The person I saw looking back at me is petty, selfish, manipulative, and unattractive. It wasn't that I hated what I saw, but I definitely didn't like what I saw either. It's a surreal feeling, looking at yourself through a critical lens, and it doesn't make you feel good in any way shape or form.

The image that I see of myself is not how I want others to perceive me. I want to be someone that people look at and see kindness, compassion, strength, and confidence.

I have enough general life experience to know that these types of changes aren't going to happen overnight, and not all of them will be physical; most of these will have to happen from the inside, from within myself.

When you find out you are all broken and damaged, it's hard to know where to start putting the pieces back together. I figured the best place to start would be the most literal: my actual insides; so, I decided to embark on a deep-cleansing journey to get all of the toxins out of my body, from the inside out.

I found this book on 10-day green smoothie detox stashed away in the dark corner of my bookshelf. The science behind it seems accurate and legitimate. By eliminating certain foods, your body is able to detox itself off of chemicals and foods that are slowing down your metabolism; the smoothies are specifically designed with combinations of foods that help restart your metabolism. Part of the detox process is getting rid of all dependencies on caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.

Every day you are given the recipe for a specific smoothie; you make the smoothie (about 40 ounces) and sip on it throughout the day whenever you get hungry. Every smoothie is a combination of leafy greens, water, fruit, and flax seeds. If you do happen to get hungry throughout the day, you are encouraged to eat raw nuts, hard boiled eggs, and a wide variety of crunchy green vegetables. There is also a detox tea that you have first thing in the morning, but other than that no other beverages are allowed except water.

I know that this is only the beginning of a very long, emotional, and draining journey. But I think I'm at the point in my life where I have to make these changes. I have to put my pieces together, I have to become a normal functioning adult, I have to find out who I am. I think that this is the perfect way to start.

For the next 10 days I am going to be documenting my experiences, how I'm feeling, what my emotions are doing, and any results that I see.

Stay tuned!

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