It starts with a kiss and may end with a fist. It begins with a hello, but may end with a “hell no!!” The first touch may be a warm hug, but ends on the cold floor. This may seem exaggerated, untruthful, or simply unrealistic, but its not. Domestic violence is a real issue and it needs to be known. We see films, read articles, or witness our own loved ones getting abused by the people they turn to. Some of the questions that we ask ourselves are “What do we do to help?” and “How do I do this without getting to involved?” Well, look no further for those answers because there is plenty to do to stomp on domestic violence.
Domestic Violence is the establishment of power and control over a person in an intimate romantic relationship with the use of threats and violent acts. In order to change this type of behavior, we need to start acting, listening, and engaging ourselves in each others lives before it becomes to late. If you have never witnessed or have been a victim of domestic violence, consider yourself blessed. This topic is important to speak up about because it’s happening. In today’s society, many people have this impression that women are the only ones facing this nightmare. Well, this isn’t at all true. Men are victims too, but are always being looked at as the monsters in the relationship.
According to a Huffington Post article, 30 Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics That Remind Us It’s An Epidemic ” 1 in 4 women get domestically abused by their partner along with 1 in 7 men within the United States.
This proves that not only are women being affected, but men are too. It’s time to join together to stop the fists from flying, the warm greeting turning into demands, and the hugs we love turn into us laying alone on the floor. Fortunately, many people have taken the necessary steps to making a change in this behavior.
An organization called Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a foundation that advocates domestic violence awareness where men dress in woman’s heels to walk a mile for domestic violence awareness. Stated on their website, “you can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” is a quote that many still use and appreciate today. Now, many schools are being introduced to this organization and have started to make their steps towards ending domestic violence. Reported in our school newspaper, the Longwood Rotunda, is an article discussing the third annual Walk a Mile in her Shoes that happened on Longwood campus this past month. Cody Slaughter, a Longwood student who participated in the event stated, “hard as hell,” to describe his mile in heels. Though the walk may have been painful, these men thought about the pain these women go through when being mistreated, and decided to make a change.
Don’t Blame the Victim
Many people believe that if someone were to be getting mistreated by their partner, that they could easily recognize and leave the situation. Friends and families of victims tend to not think about the decisions and outcomes that could arise when a victim continues to stay with their abuser. Unfortunately, many start to blame the victim, making them feel like the stupid and wrong one in the relationship.
According to the textbook written by Julia T. Woods, Gender Lives, it covers the construct “blaming the victim” which is defined as putting all blame on a victim in a domestic abusive relationship, because they aren’t be as active as they should to stop their partner from harming them. For example, a girl is in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend and her friends notice. They approach their friend (victim), trying to explain to her that they are concerned for her, but she continues not be active about changing the way her relationship is going. The victims friends then put blame on her because she isn’t be proactive about the situation. Many friends of victims will misconstrue “being active” to “being scared,” therefore, will fault the victim.
Thankfully, Walk a Mile in her Shoes is here to help women and men who are victims of domestic violence understand that they aren’t the ones to blame. Men join the walk to stomp on this behavior while women encourage them to represent relationships as not a dangerous situation to enter. Blaming someone who is in a domestic abusive relationship won’t stop the harm from happening, but only make the victim feel more enclosed in the act.
Lets Talk the Talk & Walk the Walk
I am fortunate enough to have never witnessed or have been in a domestic abusive relationship. Many people don’t think about long term affects domestic violence has on a person. If a victim remains in a relationship like this, it could result to long term damage, including death of the person. While currently being in a serious romantic relationship and discussing this topic so heavily, puts more awareness into my everyday life about domestic violence. My partner and I have both supported the Walk and Mile in her Shoes because we have both been surrounded by this topic all of our lives, even though it hasn’t directly affected either of us. The overall importance of this topic is to be aware of our surroundings. Look out for one another. Don’t point figures and put blame on someone who is facing this awful nightmare. Lets all stop domestic violence and put our best foot forward everyday to ending domestic violence.