We need to open our eyes to the abuse

By Alexis Leotta ‘18

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There is so much evil in the world around us nowadays. We quickly forget about the horrors that go on behind the well-kept doors in our own societies. Abuse is nothing to turn a blind eye to, not something that we can say, “Well, it’s a lot better then what it used to be” because it’s not. No matter the form, abuse is still a pressing issue.

Abuse is not something that we all might experience, but who’s to say we don’t pass by someone on the streets every day that may indeed be a part of one? We don’t know because someone who is being abused is not going to go right out and say what’s happening. People in those situations don’t tell anyone, many blaming themselves as the problem.

To start off, the first type of abuse that many think of is relationship abuse. This abuse can take place as early as a high school romance.
In fact, Dating Abuse Statistics stated that “Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.”

It’s alarming to think that people are going through this type of trauma as early as their teenage years, which will no doubt affect how they view and act in future relationships. What is even more alarming is that the same website stated that around eighty-one percent of parents don’t believe that abuse in teenage relationships are that much of an issue.

Family abuse and relationship abuse almost co-align with one another. Domestic Abuse Shelter stated that “Seventy-three percent of male abusers were abused as children,” showing that one form of abuse can be the result of the other.

The Dynamics of Abuse within Families and Relationships pointed out that “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began a study in the 1990s that has tracked child abuse and reported that there are more than three million reports made each year involving more than six million children.”
Within the types of abuse, one of them is verbal. Unlike physical abuse, verbal abuse does not leave any visible marks behind, leading to this form of abuse going undetected more than physical abuse does. Abusers are able to break their victims down with just their words. They twist everything around so they can convince those that are being abused that the abusers are all the victims have.

TeensHealth noted that some of the signs to look for are if the victim’s partners are threatening them in some way, always wanting to know where they are and who they’re with, and trying to close them off from friends and family.

Physical abuse might leave an actual mark behind, but that does not mean it’s always easier to spot. In most situations the victim will just brush it off as being accident prone and bumping into something or falling over on their own.

The Dynamics of Abuse within Families and Relationships noted again that “On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.”

TeensHealth points out other signs to look for are having “unexplained bruises, broken bones, sprains, or marks.” The victim could be experiencing “excessive guilt or shame for no apparent reason.” They could being avoiding any social events with excuses that don’t make a whole lot of sense.
There are different ways that people can help victims of abuse; however, it should not be forced because in most cases, the victims do not want to believe that they are being abused, and there for will not ask or accept any help.

Helping someone out of an abusive relationship can be a difficult task. Because as The National Domestic Violence Hotline said, “People in abusive relationships often feel like they have little control over their lives. Their abusive partners have taken control, and they may be dependent on them in multiple ways. It can be tough to support a person’s decision to return to or stay with their abusive partner, but try to avoid telling your friend what they should do.”

The website also points out that it can be very beneficial to let the victims know that they can make their own decisions. In other words, try to place the power back into the victim’s hand. If you try to forcibly remove a victim from this situation, it increases the chances of the victim returning to the abusers rather than staying away.

The best course of action through this ordeal is to take small steps. Abuse, no matter which kind, is a scary situation to be in. It’s scary to think that someone we know might be in a situation such as this, and we don’t even know about it. There are ways to help with this but again, this is a delicate matter that must be treated delicately.

Abuse, inflicted both in relationships and family settings, is something that is not going away. It’s not something that we can just turn are heads from and look the other way. Everyone is afraid of something. Being afraid of a family member or a partner should not be one of them.

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We need to open our eyes to the abuse