Domestic Violence Awareness Month marks importance of ending emotional, physical hurt

by BRANDI ORTIZ//News Editor

Hurtful words, threats, and pain. All three make up the dangerous recipe of domestic violence.

With October in full swing, you will hear everyone talking about breast cancer awareness. But what about domestic violence awareness?

Along with breast cancer awareness, October is dedicated to all domestic violence victims and how to help prevent others from experiencing the pain.

Most people do not like to talk about domestic violence, or even admit to being a victim or having done violent acts to their significant other. It is something that no one can ever believe would happen. If you love someone, why would his or her boyfriend/girlfriend even think of hurting each other? But sadly, it happens.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute are abused by their significant other. That’s insane!! No one, and I mean NO ONE, should ever have to worry if their partner will hurt him or her, or their children. That is like living your life walking on eggshells, carefully moving to make sure you don’t take a wrong step. It is hell.

Sadly, I have witnessed many of my family members and friends become victims of domestic violence. From aunts being dragged by the hair and thrown around, to best friends becoming suicidal after months of emotional abuse, domestic violence is something that has made a huge impact on my life.

Most people only describe domestic violence as physical. That is why some victims do not believe they are victims, because their partner is not physically hurting them. Domestic violence takes many forms. It can be physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological.

One partner will do anything and everything in order to appear dominant in the relationship. He or she would “punish” their partner in hopes that they will submit to his or her orders.

I have seen a case where the abuser would threaten the other with unwanted sexual activities if the other were to get “out of hand.” I also have seen where a victim could no longer talk because the beating endured was so intense that a mouth was swollen shut.

Sadly, in both cases, I have watched as the victim would still continue their relationship with their abuser because “I love him/her.” It was not until they have realized that their child’s life could be at stake did they reach out to get help and find a safe haven.

Let me be the first to tell you, if your partner “loves” you, he or she would NEVER put you in a situation where you feel like you or your child’s life is at danger. Love should never hurt.

There are many red flags to look for if you believe you could be a victim of domestic violence. These include: your significant other begins to become extremely jealous and/or possessive of you; he/she expects you to check in all the time and let him/her know who you are with; he or she wants to isolate you by controlling where you can go, who you can talk to, or what you can wear; he or she will lose his/her temper over small things; and he or she threatens to harm the victim, the victim’s family, or even commit suicide if the victim leaves him/her.

Most of the time, the abuser can be very narcissistic. They would blame the victim, drugs, money problems, stress, or family drama on why they are acting in such a manner. But in reality, it is NEVER the victim’s fault.

Too many times have I heard a victim say, “If I was to do this differently, he/she wouldn’t hurt me,” or “Maybe if I just quit hanging out with (insert name) he/she would just calm down. ”

There is nothing a victim can do to make an abuser happy. The only way to “make things better” is to leave. I know how scared a victim can be when even thinking about leaving. But if they want to survive, they must leave. Leave and never turn back. Sneak out if need be.

Abusers can only get better by first acknowledging their actions, then by seeking help. There are thousand of organizations willing to help both the abuser and victim get better.

Women’s Protective Services of Lubbock is a great organization that has a 24-hour hotline specifically for those in the Lubbock region.

If you feel like you could be a victim, or know of anyone who needs help, PLEASE call 1(806)-747-6491.

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