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The Dirty Details

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Sheryl was a woman in her 20s, going to college, and married. She was beautiful, and had a good life out for her. Her husband, Bryant, was constantly telling her she didn’t need to go to school if they had each other; at this point Sheryl loved the whirlwind romance. She was blinded by her own sense of bliss. She couldn’t prevent the inevitable, nor could she see it coming…. She quit college and ran away, out of the state, and away from her parents, who Bryant told her didn’t care about her. Bryant was with her. They bought a small condo out in Nevada State. At first, Bryant would just make sure he knew where she was going when she left the house. Then he called her every hour, then he followed her to her destination, and then, he wouldn’t let her leave the house. The windows were always closed, the door was always bolted, and the lights, always off. Sometimes the neighbors would hear screams in the night, yet they never went over, never called. Then one night, there were no screams, then another night passed, then two, and then three, but they never once heard the screams. Then one night a car drove out from the driveway, with only one person inside. Sheryl was never seen again, and never heard from again. What if this was you? This may be a hypothetical example, but domestic violence happens all the time and it is very serious. Some examples of domestic violence are worse than others, but it is always a problem.
Where does domestic violence occur most? Girls wanting to avoid it, often ask that question. You can’t stop your partner’s abuse, making domestic violence hard to avoid for the victim. All the educational and religious backgrounds have domestic violence in them. However, females with disabilities or, living below the poverty line, have a higher risk for lifetime abuse. They are also at a higher risk for domestic violence as a whole. Children are also in danger of being in a violent situation. Even if they aren't being directly abused, watching their parent being attacked can damage their mental stability for life.
Another question you need to ask is what are the early signs of Domestic Violence? If your boyfriend always wants to be with you, and tracks what you’re doing and who you’re with, that is the first sign that you need to be concerned. Any stalker-like behavior should be worrying. If they are jealous that you give or receive attention, that is another sign. However it is a small sign, and shouldn’t be of much concern as the previous. Jealousy is a natural thing to feel, and some people can’t help it. Sheryl had many signs, but refused to listen to them. Bryant was telling her she didn’t need to go to school if they had each other, they had a whirlwind romance, and he told her that her parents didn’t love or care about her. Most of the women in violent situations saw the signs early, but didn’t want to believe it was happening. If you see the signs, keep in mind that you could get into a violent situation. Don’t be blinded by the situation… Don’t be pressured into doing something you don’t want to do. Don’t be like Sheryl, stop the problem before it happens.
Some forms of domestic violence are difficult to recognize. It starts off insidiously, but eventually you will come to realize that it is domestic violence. What is domestic violence exactly, such as how do you know you are being abused? Abusers will use many different ways to isolate or control their girlfriend or wife. Early on in the relationship he may seem generous or protective, in ways that are actually terrifying and controlling. The abuse happens normally in isolated incidents, and then later after he expresses remorse and says the abuse was due to stress that was caused by something that you did, or didn’t do.
The effects of being abused or experiencing abuse can be detrimental to the health of the abused and the person watching. Domestic violence leads to more than just scars, bruises, and cuts. It leads to emotional traumas like depression, anxiety, panic attacks, substance abuse, and posttraumatic stress disorder. There are other terrible things that could happen due to being abused. Abuse leads to suicide attempts, psychotic episodes, homelessness, and slow recovery from mental illness. These are just some of the unfortunate problems that arise when being abused. Children who are exposed to domestic violence have are at risk of developmental matters, such as bad grades, because of difficulties in school. Other effects include aggressive behavior, in addition to low self-esteem. All these attributes and more cause it difficult for survivors of domestic violence to assemble resources. Yet many domestic violence survivors don’t need mental treatment, and most of the attributes that occur because of domestic violence end up fading in time, after their children get the help they need. For the other people the treatment they need is just a plan of safety.
Oh, sure, you know about the situation, but it is still hard to get out of it. There are a few things you can do to try and get out of it. Obviously your safety is most important to take care of. You could talk to someone such as a friend, neighbor, or spiritual leader. You could tell a therapist or doctor about the situation, or if you are in a very dangerous situation you could call the police. You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). You know your situation better than anyone else, but make sure you don’t let anyone talk you into a situation that isn’t safe for you.
Domestic violence is like a stain on a sweater, a stain on the threads that bind our national fabric together. Sometimes that stain is large and sometimes it’s small; however there is no question of the existence. Even if the stain is small, shouldn’t we try to wash it out? Domestic violence is a serious problem, and no matter how hard we try to stop it, it will always be there. But if we eat with a napkin, we can stop the spill. We can stop domestic violence if we recognize the signs and stop the problem before it happens.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Alexis R. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 4, 2010 at 8:37 pm
This was very truthful, thank you.
 
Faithstar777 replied...
Mar. 4, 2010 at 10:14 pm
Thank you for reading :). You're welcome for it. It was an essay we had to write in writing class. I enjoyed writing it because it is a subject I feel strongly about.
 
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