Trigger Warning: This article contains descriptions, language, and imagery that some may find disturbing, such as graphic descriptions of and an extensive discussion of sexual abuse.
Domestic violence, and abusive relationships is a topic we need to discuss. Women between sixteen to twenty-four experience the highest rate of partner violence, so why is it that nobody seems to be talking about it?
Imagine you are sixteen and madly in love with a guy. We all know that love, you think you are going to marry him and he’s your one and only. Imagine feeling loved and supported, but sometimes when you make him angry he raises his voice at you. You ignore it and just take that as him being passionate and fighting for your relationship.
He’s getting angry at you more frequently for quirks he used to find cute and endearing. You try to be good, and not frustrate him, but it keeps happening. He keeps getting louder and louder, and sometimes, he grabs your arm just a little too hard.
You go home one day after a fight and find a bruise from where he shoved you a little bit. You ignore it just telling yourself that since you’re a small human, he didn’t realize how forceful it felt.
Then, one day you do something, and he screams in your face and shakes you. You start to cry because you love him so much, but he’s hurting you. Your tears piss him off even more, and he slaps you across the face before you can even register what has happened. He leaves you there, crying on the floor as the room spins since you hit your head on the ground when you fell.
He comes back a couple hours later and apologizes profusely. He wraps his arms around you and promises it will never happen again, that he didn’t know what came over him. You accept his apology and move on, but now, you’re terrified.
You know he shouldn’t be treating you like this, but you don’t know what to do. You feel so alone right now, and honestly, all you want is your mom. Him hitting you becomes frequent, and you hiding the bruises is normal. You lie to people, you make up excuses for him, you cry alone at night because you are terrified.
Really think about how women are going through this everyday. yet we still don’t talk about it openly.
This is just a little summary of what happened to me. I can’t even put into words what that did to me emotionally.
Physically, I had bruises and black eyes for months. I was convinced that this was what love was. I thought that black eyes and busted lips were the signs of him caring.
The thing was, I am from a strong family unit in a good neighborhood. There were people who loved me and cared about me that I lied to in order to protect this guy. I hid the bruises with makeup and excuses.
Nobody thinks that it can happen to a straight A honor student who was involved in multiple extracurricular activities. I certainly never thought I would be in that situation at any point in my life, especially not when I was sixteen.
I eventually got up the courage to leave the relationship, and I was still heart broken. I know it’s very dumb for me to have felt so strongly about a guy who had beaten the crap out of me, but I did. It took me a very long time to get over him and even longer to want to be in another relationship.
Even now, there are still times where I react badly to certain things because of the abuse. I tend to keep most guys at arm’s length for a very long time because I’m afraid if I let them in they will hurt me the same way he did. Besides that, if a guy moves his hand too fast or grabs me a little too hard, I flinch and pull away.
I know most guys aren’t bad and won’t hurt me, but the fear still lingers as a reminder that this can happen to anyone. It’s been over three years at this point, and I still flinch.
We need to talk about this because females are being beaten by their partners.
If this doesn’t enrage you, then what is wrong with you?
It is never okay for someone to be abused in a relationship. We need to talk about the warning signs, and we need to act upon them when we notice them.
Some of the main warning signs are:
Their partner calls them names or puts them down in public
Their partner seems extremely jealous a lot
They apologize for their partner’s behavior and make excuses for them
They become isolated from their friends and family
They are constantly worried about upsetting their partner
They have injuries they can’t explain
As human beings we need to stand up and talk about this. The more we talk, the better help there will be.
Do not stay silent if you think someone is in an abusive relationship. Talk to them, try to help them.
If you are in an abusive relationship, I know you’re scared darling but it’s not okay to be treated like that. I know it’s scary, and I know it’s going to hurt, but you have to get the courage to reach out for help.
You deserve better because you are an amazing human being.
You deserve the world, and any person who hurts you is not a person who deserves you.
Editor’s Note: There are resources readily available at both Texas A&M University and nationally for victims of sexual violence, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence and/or stalking.
TAMU University Police: 979-845-2345
TAMU Student Counseling Service (SCS): 979-845-4427
Sexual Assault Resource Center: 1-979-731-1000
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673