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It Could Happen To You: Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a very serious and scary type of abuse that 1 out of 3 women will experience at some point during adulthood. Domestic abuse involves the physical, verbal, emotional, and/or sexual abuse of one person by their partner. It is important for us as collegiate women to know not only the warning signs of an abuser but how to spot someone being abused and how to support them.  Women between the ages of 16- 29 have the highest chance of being abused by a partner, so now is the time to educate each other.

Signs that might indicate someone is an abuser:

**At some point in most relationships, a couple might experience one or two of these issues. This does not always mean that you are in an abusive relationship. What you need to be mindful of is if your partner exhibits many of these traits**

Jealousy

Most partners become jealous at some point in their relationship. What you need to be wary of is if your partner shows constant and baseless jealousy to the point where you are scared to talk to other people because it might set them off.

Controlling

If your partner tries to control where you go, who you see, and what you wear you should rethink the relationship. You are a grown human being and no one should dictate that many aspects of your life.

A Quick Involvement

It is an ongoing joke in Utah that LDS couples get married very quickly after they begin dating. What we are talking about in this sense is someone who is quick to say 'I love you,' quick to propose, and quick to move in with you. These actions might seem sweet and endearing at first, but could quickly turn into something much less acceptable. Most often, men who are quick to become involved are showing signs of immaturity that could become part of larger issues later on in the relationship. Additionally, a partner who hastens a quick marriage could become quick to control your life. Once you are married, they may feel that they have a hold on you that a simple boyfriend did not have.

Blames Others

If your partner blames you for his actions, you need to be concerned. An example of this would be if you brought him home Cafe Rio when he wanted Chipotle instead, causing him to freak out. He blames his attitude and actions on the fact that you brought home the wrong dinner. You need to be aware that he is blaming his aggression on a simple mistake and that this aggression could escalate over time. Everyone gets disappointed when they don’t receive the food they’re expecting, but a pattern of screaming fits over something so slight is a definite problem. 

Hypersensitivity

Watch your partner’s reactions to the little things. If they freak out over the fact that they have to wait in line for any length of time and start becoming belligerent about it, you need to proceed in the relationship with caution.

Past Issues

If your partner has been known to get into fist fights, throws objects, punches walls, etc. you need to be aware of these traits. This could indicate that they may be or could become abusers.

Verbal Abuse

If your partner verbally abuses you, that is a huge red flag. If they tell you you’re ugly, worthless, insignificant, (the list goes on and on), you need to contemplate ending the relationship. Most verbal abuse leads to physical abuse later on in the relationship.

Threats

If your partner threatens to harm you and says things like “I’ll break your neck" or "I am going to beat you up" at any time in your relationship, you need to move on. In these cases, the fantasy precedes the reality, and if your partner is imagining striking you, it is very likely that they will do so in the future.

If you have a friend that is being abused by their partner you need to support them. Be truthful and let them know that they are not in a normal relationship. Tell them that you will help them in any way possible, whether that is offering them a place to sleep, a ride, numbers of therapists and support groups... literally anything they need. Do not allow their partner to isolate them from the outside world. Build them up with compliments and encouraging words, Lord knows they are not receiving them from their significant other. And most importantly, if they decide to stay, do not give up on them. Most victims of domestic violence leave 5 to 10 times before they leave their relationship for good. 

*All of the information in this article was received from Theresa Martinez’s lectures on domestic Violence in her class, Deviant Behavior. I HIGHLY recommend each and every one of you to take this course, even if you are not pursuing a degree in sociology. Her lectures offer vital real-world information that will help mold you into an intelligent and aware individual.

I have a deep love for mermaids, pitbulls, swearing, and all things involving food.  Shania Twain is my spirit animal and I'm a converted Belieber.
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