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Stopping it Before it Starts: Signs of Domestic Violence

Along with all the fun thing that occur in October, the month is also has multiple observations and one that I believe is overlooked is domestic violence. Women between the ages of 16-24 have the highest rate of domestic violence victims and men’s rates go up after the age of 18. This is right at college age for both sexes and is something that college campuses should make more of an effort to address.

Domestic violence isn’t always physical and usually doesn’t start there. College is the first time many of us are on our own. Sometimes we feel alone or get homesick or have trouble making new friends. Sometimes we hop into romantic situations faster than we normally would because of those reasons or because this is the first time we have a chance at our first “adult” relationship. We no longer are restricted to seeing our partners just in school on weekdays or having to hurry home by curfews on weekends. But because something is new we don’t always see the warning signs.

 

Isolation: Usually before an abuser will ever assault you he/she will isolate you. This can be especially easy to do when you’re in college and there are already times where you feel like the world is against you. They’ll want you to stop hanging out with your friends, maybe say that the Greek organization you’re a part of is taking up too much of your time, or that the study group isn’t actually helping and you’d be better off just staying and studying with your partner. There will also be the issue of jealousy.

 

Verbal Abuse: An abuser (or potential abuser) will tear you down verbally whenever they aren’t able to get the results they want. Whether it be playing on your insecurities or creating new ones. People who lack confidence are easier to control and an abusive person knows that.

 

Sex: Though there is a difference between sexual and domestic violence sex is can be a tool for an abuser. If he/she is restraining you without your consent or ignoring you when you want to stop or slow down these are all sign of a bigger issue. If they only want sex on their terms without being considerate to what you want, need, or like is also a sign.

These are just a few signs of things that can lead to physical abuse but there are so many more. Do not wait until the signs turn into actuality and if you feel worried talk to someone. It doesn’t make you weak for being with this person nor does it make you weak for getting help to get away from them. Whether it be friends, family or a counselor (here at Southern we have free counseling sessions) there is somebody in your corner.

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

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Nakia Woodley

Georgia Southern

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