Relationship violence is certainly not a fun or comfortable topic to discuss, but it’s increasingly a subject of immense importance. A recent Glamour magazine survey revealed that 29 percent of respondents reported having been in an abusive relationship, and an additional 30 percent admitted they had not been in an abusive relationship, but had been degraded, threatened with a gun or knife, or harmed by their partner at some point.
These results are shocking and tragic. Today, it seems like every woman is aware of how fundamentally wrong it is for a man to lay a hand on a woman. We all perceive that everyone realizes that violence in a relationship is not OK. And those who are already in healthy relationships tend to assume that all women know how a non-abusive ones work. Despite the cultural norms and sense of morality that protest against this sickening form of violence, thousands of men continue to hurt their "loved" ones physically and emotionally each year.
More Shocking Statistics
Practically everybody can at least identify with this horrid occurence. In fact, nearly three out of four Americans personally know someone who has been a victim of domestic violence. In fact, between 600,000 and 6 million women are victims of domestic violence each year (depending on the type of survey used to obtain the data). And perhaps the most saddening fact is that 1 in 4 women has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.
Relationship violence is far more common most people realize, and many stories of pain and suffering have permeated the media in an attempt to raise awareness and eventually put a halt to the abuse. Around a year ago, a woman named Yardley Love was shaken by her boyfriend so violently that she hit her head against the wall numerous times and died. Sadly but not surprisingly, Love is not the only one to have lost her life at the hand of an abusive partner.
In the past year alone, stories of death caused by relationship violence have topped the charts. Swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachey was found strangled and abandoned in a hotel bathroom, 19-year-old Courtney Delano was killed six months into her pregnancy, and Samantha Miller was shot in the head–these examples only scrape the surface of the vast collection of abuse stories, both those reported on by the media as well as the thousands kept secret for years.
Signs of a Violent Relationship
Abuse comes in many forms so it’s important to know the signs. Even if you’re experiencing something that does not fit into the "traditional" category of abuse or violence, the physical and/or emotional pain you are enduring from your partner may still be abusive, especially if it’s being exacted intentionally. Making threats, physically hurting you, having an unpredictable temper, treating you as if you’re his property or an object, consistently putting you down and criticizing you, and controlling your actions and resources are all signs that you are in an abusive relationship. If you or someone you know has a partner that exhibits any of these behaviors, there is no time like the present to SPEAK UP.
If you have a gut instict that something is not right, it’s your duty to tell someone about it! It’s your obligation as a friend, a sister, a coworker, a mother, a teacher, and most importantly, as a woman, to let someone know because relief will not come to the victim if light is not shed on the situation.
In an effort to reduce instances of domestic abuse, Glamour magazine is launching the Tell Somebody campaign to encourage women to talk about relationship violence. Victimization is never acceptable in the context of what is supposed to be a loving relationship between dating/engaged/married partners, so do your part by letting someone know if you or a friend experiences this.
Text TELLNOW to 85944 to make a $10 donation that will help keep the nation’s biggest domestic violence hotline open. Last year, 83,027 calls went unanswered because the hotline was so under-funded–you can be a part of changing this! For each dollar that is donated, the Avon Fundation has generously agreed to match it up to $200,000.