As October comes to a close I want to touch on a very important topic. October has been Domestic Violence Awareness Month and just because the month is coming to an end does not mean that this issue needs to be pushed back under the rug. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence…
- One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
- An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
- 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
- Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew.
- Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
- Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.
When people think of domestic violence they assume that means a black eye or scars and bruises all over a woman’s body. However, there is so much more than the visible marks of domestic violence. If an intimate partner is trying to control you by cutting off your friends and family, not giving you freedom to wear what you want, say what you want, or spend your own money how you would like to then these are all signs of abuse. If your partner is calling you fat, ugly, or comparing you to other people they find attractive then that is also abuse. Emotional abuse can leave just as much (or more) of a toll on someone. Mind games and questioning your every move to the point where you are scared to answer their calls are extremely dangerous and sometimes the trickiest situations to get out of because no matter what your loved ones are telling you, you always find a way to blame yourself and make excuses. Being in love with someone who has created a toxic environment is so much harder than someone from the outside could ever understand.
As a 20-year-old girl with my whole future ahead of me, some people probably are thinking, “what does she know?” However, I am not repeating the lines from an organization or someone with a PhD, I am speaking from personal experience. I KNOW how hard it is. I have witnessed my best friend go through the same thing that I went through and it really opened my eyes because as much as I wanted to say STOP GOING BACK, I couldn’t. Because everyone I knew was saying the same thing to me a year ago.
The truth is, is that no one will ever know every little detail of what you have put up with in your relationship and you do not have to explain it to them either. Only you will know when you are ready to leave. Until then, not your best friend, mom, dad, or sibling will be able to get you out of the situation. You just need to know when it’s time to be happy. When you don’t have to be afraid to get on social networks because of what they might be saying about you. When you don’t need to put all of your time and money into anyone but yourself, unless you actually want to. When you finally decide to put you and your dreams first. It is such a relief.
If you know someone who is suffering from domestic abuse then my advice is to just be there for them, no matter what! Yes, you will get sick of the stories and sick of giving advice, but the moment that they feel alone is the moment that they will give up. Give them hope.
If you are in an abusive partnership then PLEASE seek help. Whether it is therapy, counseling, or going to the authorities. You only have one life and you really need to think about how you’re spending it. If there are kids involved, then make them a priority and give them a healthier environment or they might just repeat the pattern. You are not alone and it is NOT your fault.
Also, check out this awesome article from the Huffington Post. ❤
If you need help then contact the The National Domestic Violence Hotline ASAP!
Much Love, Kayla