Addressing Domestic Violence

Riley Sims, Reporter

Domestic violence is a sensitive topic for many people. It is not easy to talk about. Domestic violence is defined as somebody using physical, emotional, sexual or psychological violence to control their partner. Often the abused live in fear of telling anybody, because they believe they will be harmed or killed. As a result, many victims live in constant fear that whatever they say or do will be used by their partner to hurt them.

Finding help can be difficult. If the abused go to the police, most of the time, the only thing they can do is grant a restraining order, which is not very protective. A restraining order is a legal document that states a person can’t be within a certain number of feet from another person. If the person violates this, the other person can call the police and the person will be arrested and face prosecution. However, a lot can happen in the period of time it takes for the cops to arrive, which isn’t an effective procedure. There needs to be something more efficient than this.

If a victim is lucky enough to escape, life does not simply become normal. Domestic violence causes depression and suicidal thoughts. People who experience domestic violence may also experience anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The month of February is National Teen Dating Awareness Month. It is meant to bring awareness to dating violence among teens. By teaching the new generation about dating violence, they can make a difference and help stop it. It is also important to teach them about the signs of dating violence and what to do if they experience it or see the warning signs.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, about 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some sort of physical violence by a partner in their lifetime. Women between the ages of 18-24 are the most common victims. The statistics can be nerve-wracking if you aren’t familiar with domestic abuse. Even more concerning is that if we don’t act fast to stop this, the statistics could keep rising.

It’s time for people to start opening their eyes to this problem and finding solutions. We need to make it safer for people to open up about this issue and receive the help they deserve. We also need to start educating people on this issue and how to notice the warning signs. Most of all, people need to learn how to respond to and effectively stop a harmful situation. It’s time to put an end to domestic abuse.

If you or anybody you know may be suffering from domestic abuse, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233(SAFE).