When I was 19 years old I found myself in an abusive relationship. I often saw women being physically abused, disrespected, and mistreated by their male counterparts. I believed that was normal, that this is what couples did. They physically fought, verbally abused one another, then kissed and made up. Having low self esteem and a lack of knowledge on what a healthy relationship was, caused me to endure years of pain and mistreatment. Now fast forward years later, I am equipped with the right knowledge and experience to help others recognize the signs and dangers of what domestic violence really is.
What is domestic violence? Well it is when one person in an intimate personal relationship or marriage tries to dominate or control the other person. Domestic violence does not only affect women but men to. It does not discriminate against race, religion, the wealthy, the poor, young, old, gay, straight, educated or not. Most of the victims tend to be women. Men are also victims of abuse. Usually one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lives. In addition most of the violence is done by someone the victim knows. It could be a parent, fiancé, spouse, relatives, and friends.
The abuse usually happens during a relationship or when the relationship is coming to an end. We must understand that the abuser abuses to have control and not because he or she has an anger problem. Think about it like this. Does he or she abuse their boss or coworkers because they are angry? How about when their friends or family make jokes or talks down to them do they abuse them? Do they jump up and attack the police when they come to the dispute, or are they calm and cooperative. If you answered no to any of the above statements then you know that the abuser makes the choice to abuse. If it were anger then everyone they come in to contact with while they are angry will get abused. There is no excuse good enough to justify any form of abuse.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship know that help is available. You can contact local shelters in your community or call 1-800-799-safe. They can direct you to resources in your area.