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Domestic violence

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Abuse can happen to anyone. If you find yourself questioning whether or not you are abused, you probably are. Speaking from personal experience, both through dating an abuser and seeing many friends (both female and male) go through very similar problems, it really can happen to anyone. If you find yourself- -Trying to keep your partner away from friends and family because you are fearful that they will embarrass you (whether it is through being abusive in front of people, being rude or discounting of people who are important to you, or knowing that you cannot act like "yourself" in front of him or her and do not want friends and family picking up on this. - Feeling fear. You should never feel fear going over to your boyfriend/girlfriend's house/apartment. You should never feel apprehensive about your partner coming home/ over. Dread should never cross your mind on the way home to your boyfriend/girlfriend. Throughout your day you should not have to worry about being home on time so that he/she will not be upset with you. Checking in 5 times during a work day under the threat of him/her being angry is not normal or ok! Nor is walking on eggshells and watching everything you say. -Avoiding certain subjects. Someone who really loves and RESPECTS you in a happy and HEALTHY relationship will not inspire fear in your heart when "touchy subjects" are brought up. If you feel like you are writing a script for yourself that will appease him/her, this is a sign of abuse. When these subjects are brought up, what does he/she do? Ignore you? Discount what you say? Explode with anger? Or make you feel guilty? -Feeling guilty, about everything. You should never feel responsibility or guilt for your partner's behavior. He or she did it, you did not. No matter what you did to “provoke” the behavior, it is NOT and NEVER will be your fault. “You know that makes me angry,” “I told you not to bring that up again,” or “It’s not my fault, you shouldn’t have said that” are not excuses, or even good reasons for him or her to treat you badly. -Making excuses for him/her, to yourself, to your friends and family and even to him/her. “Even to them?” you may be asking with a tilt of your head. That is the phenomenon that happens between “calm” and “tension building.” [1] It manifests itself in comments such as “I know you didn’t mean it like that,” and “It’s okay, I know you do it because you love me (variations consist of “because you care,” “because you want to help me,” and “because you want me to be happy.”) Also pleading with them not to feel guilty about abusing you is enabling him/her to make excuses for their behavior. Other kinds of excuses are those to others. Excuses made to those who love you often run along the lines of “He/she had a bad day at work (insert reason here, “his/her boss is a real &%#@$,” “their job is really stressful/hard” or “traffic was awful on the way home”), “He/she had a tough childhood,” or “He/she isn’t really like that, he/she only comes off like that.” And maybe the worse kind of excuse you can make, is the excuse to yourself. Ask yourself, do you do anything to purposely hurt them? No? Of course you don’t. Would you ever treat them the way they treat you? I expect that there was a chorus of “No! Never!” Ask yourself now, why is he/she abusive to you? Are you thinking to yourself “Because I made him/her mad,” “because I didn’t listen” or “because I didn’t respect him/her.” Like I said before, his/her behavior is NEVER your fault. He/she lost his/her temper, you did nothing wrong. I titled this post “Never Again” and that is because: Never Again will I -Live in fear -Blame myself for other’s action -Be forced to do things I feel uncomfortable doing -Doubt my self worth -Let someone control my every action, thought and word -Walk on eggshells all the time -Say things I don’t mean to appease my boyfriend Never Again will I be abused. I implore everyone to know the signs and dangers of domestic and dating abuse. ONE time is one time too many. You have done NOTHING to deserve abuse. You are NEVER alone, there is always help. Here are some websites that could offer some insight and help. www.thehotline.org www.loveisrespect.org www.rainn.org 1. www.fafinc.org Documents/Cycle of Abuse.gif

Contributed by Samantha Soucie

Signs of Relationship Abuse PSA

Contributed by Akiel Hunte

Teen Dating Violence PSA

Contributed by Akiel Hunte

It Ends Where it Begins - Anti-Domestic Violence PSA

Contributed by Akiel Hunte

Check this touching video illustrating domestic violence.

Contributed by Akiel Hunte

Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.

Contributed by Akiel Hunte

The costs of intimate partner violence in the US alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.

Contributed by Akiel Hunte

Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused by their partners had never contacted non-governmental organizations, shelters, or the police for help.

Contributed by Akiel Hunte

Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.

Contributed by Akiel Hunte

Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.

Contributed by Akiel Hunte