When you think about domestic violence, plenty of images can flood your mind.
A battered Rhianna after a fight with Chris Brown or Ray Rice dragging his unconscious fiancee out of an elevator.
Those are just the instances that stick out in the media over recent years.
Recently, two events focusing on domestic violence have been held on Missouri Western’s campus. Last week, Curt and Christie Brungardt spoke out about what their lives have been like since their daughter was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Earlier this week, Senator Claire McCaskill came to speak about ways to protect yourself and get help.
When we say domestic violence, we aren’t just talking about the abuse that leaves marks on the skin, but all the other ways abuse comes about. Whether it’s physical, mental or emotional, love is not supposed to hurt. You are, under no circumstances, required to stay with anyone who does not give you the love that you are deserving of.
According to LoveIsRespect.org in 2011, 20 percent of college women, as well as six percent of college men, will be victims of sexual assault, and 57 percent of students reported being in an abusive dating relationship while in college.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, domestic violence is one of the most underreported crimes. Approximately one-fourth of all physical assaults, one-half of all stalking instances and one-fifth of all rapes are reported.
Those are scary numbers, right? Do something about it.
Report the situation to authorities. There is no form of abuse too small that they cannot intervene in.
Do not accept any form of contact from the abuser. An apology is nowhere near enough to fix the damage they have caused.
If it is necessary, file for a civil protection order. If they won’t listen to your demands to leave you alone, they will listen to the demands of the law.
Most importantly, get help. Reporting the situation is just the beginning. Talk it out with friends or family; a support group can help you get past the trauma.
No one deserves abuse. No one.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from an abusive relationship, call the YWCA at 816-232-4481.