When is Enough, Enough?
By Caitlin Santomauro
Domestic violence is much more common than people like to think. Actually, most people are unaware of how common it is because the victims usually do not speak up. Abusive relationships are hard to explain to people who have never experienced it for themselves. Those people feel that there is a simple solution in these cases… if your partner is abusive in any way, physical, emotional, mental, you leave… easy right?
What some people fail to realize is the emotional and mental hold involved in abusive relationships. The victim’s self-esteem is usually so low due to their partner’s manipulation. They will mentally beat them down until the person feels that they are not good enough or worth being with anyone else, or that anyone else would never “love them like their partner will”. Seems sickening right? Unfortunately, I know this story all too well.
A few years ago, I was madly in love with a man who I made my world. I cannot deny that we loved each other, but looking back in retrospect we were both very sick people. He was controlling, and I liked that at first. I remember seeing the control as him “protecting” me and I thought it was manly and sexy. Little did I know the roles we both played in our relationship would be detrimental to our well-being.
Domestic violence in relationships is actually very common in younger relationships like high school and college students. Maybe it’s the immaturity level or raging hormones or possibly even the amount of partying involved that causes this.
In my experience, I did not realize that my entire relationship since the beginning was actually very abusive. It started out verbally and emotionally. It then grew to mental abuse and empty threats. Eventually came the physical abuse. I remember lying to myself, telling myself it wasn’t as bad as it was. I would try so hard to convince myself that even though we fought terribly all the time, we were just very passionate people who loved each other too much. Needless to say, our 2 year long relationship ended with a black eye, concussion, and a restraining order.
Unfortunately, relationships like this are happening every day and here is the scary truth. According to FBI records, every 15 seconds a woman is battered. Each year 2-4 million American women are abused. In the United States, nearly 5.3 million intimate partners are victimized each year, usually women who are 18 years of age and older. According to the Center for Disease Control, these types of abuse result in nearly 2 million injuries and approximately 1,300 death each year. In addition, the Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Violence against Women, reports that each year 1 million women will suffer from nonfatal violence by an intimate partner. The terrifying reality is that nearly 1 in 3 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
Although this is happening every day, there are ways to prevent it or get yourself out of these types of situations. There are hotlines for people in abusive relationships to call in order to get help, one in particular is the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
If you or someone you love are stuck in an abusive relationship, please reach out and get help today before it’s too late. Violence is not love. If your partner is hurting you, there is no excuse that can make it okay. Be strong for yourself and leave. It can save your life.