Opening Your Eyes to Dating Violence

Sometimes it seems like dating violence is more upsetting to me than any other form of domestic violence.  This is because I’ve seen what dating violence has done to a very close friend I’ll call Erica.

Last semester The Women’s Center sponsored an event called “Dating Violence 101” and it really opened my eyes to the reality of dating violence, especially, when I related it to what my friend Erica was going through.  I realized that the way her boyfriend was treating her was actually considered violent behavior. He was extremely jealous, controlling, verbally abusive, and possessive. Erica knew that he was jealous and possessive, but thought that she had control over it. From my point of view, I knew she didn’t. I’ve seen her go through a similar situation, and when that relationship was over, the guy stalked her. I’m noticing a pattern in Erica, and I’m afraid that if, and when, this relationship ends, Erica will end up getting hurt.

According to the Safespace.org website, it can be scary if you or a friend is in an abusive relationship, but learning how to stay safe is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself or a loved one from harm. On this website you can get tips on how to protect yourself or what you can do to help someone else.  They provide tips on calling the police, creating a safety plan, how to leave an abusive relationship, and understanding your rights.  As a friend of someone going through the abuse, the website also provides advice on being supportive and listening to a friend who wants to talk about their abuse.  There is also an article that explains why some people, like my friend Erica, stay in abusive relationships.  Some of those reasons include believing the abuse is normal, embarrassment, low self-esteem, and even peer pressure. 

For UMKC students the Violence Prevention and Response Project is a great resource for information and advice concerning dating violence.  It is located in 108 Haag Hall and offers a safe space for victims and friends of victims.  Their staff is committed to strengthening the University’s and the community’s response to gender-based and sexual violence and offers victim support services, advocacy, training, education, and outreach to the campus and community.

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One Comment

  1. Posted February 17, 2010 at 9:53 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Bethany,

    Unfortunately, this is a sad reality. I have a relative that is in an abusive relationship and it is the most devastating thing in the world to be outside looking into this type of relationship. The person thinks that he or she has control of the situation, but I believe that he or she doesn’t control the situation. This becomes a vicious cycle that can lead to very dangerous situations. I just hope that people in this situation can open their eyes and look for help before it is too late. Thanks for the post and the information.

    Sergio

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