Happy first of October everybody! Many recognize October as the month when the leaves change color, people are excited for Halloween, and many people raise awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Brest Cancer Awareness Month has become a popular indicator that it is October, but it is not the only awareness event that happens in this month. October is also the awareness month for depression, Down syndrome, and also domestic violence, among others. Domestic violence can happen to anyone; it does’t matter the race, gender, or even age. Yes, even teenagers can be the victim or abuser in domestic violence. For these reasons, and more, is why it is important to keep spreading the awareness so someone who might really need this knowledge can use it.
Domestic violence can happen in family relationships, dating relationships, spousal relationships, or among people who live together. Domestic violence can be physical, mental, or verbal. Do not think just because the abuser is not being physical, that it is not domestic abuse. The first step in getting out of an abusive relationship is recognizing the signs.
Domestic violence can take many forms, such as threats of sexual abuse, being overly controlling, or stalking. Recognize the domestic abuse, and come to a realization that that person will not change unless the victim leaves the relationship and gets help. It is easy for an abuser to feel shame, guilty, or remorse for hurting their loved one, but returns to the behavior a week later.Domestic abuse happens in cycles. The abuse happens, then your abuser feels guilty, and then he/she makes excuses and apologizes for his/her actions. The abuser’s behavior is normal for a while, then he/she makes promises, only to fall back to old patterns and abuse again. Please do not fall into this cycle, and if you do, seek help to get out.
For a lot of victims, getting help and breaking away from the abuser may be the hardest part. The two may have a child together, the victim may be dependent on him/her, or he/she may control every part of their life, but do not let any of those things stop you. The victim must take control of his/her life. They must separate themselves as soon as the situation permits and seek help right away. There are many support groups, government agencies, and online resources that can help them separate from their abuser, file the necessary legal paperwork, and help them emotionally through the process. It does not matter what the abuser says; it is never the victim’s fault and they always derserve better!
If you are or know someone who suffers from domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1 (800) 363-9010. Makeup Talk is a proud supporter of the National Violence Hotline and many other wonderful causes. One of our MuT members shared a powerful video on domestic violence just this summer. Always remember, just because October ends, does not mean that spreading awareness for these important issues should. Thank you.