Dying for Love

It’s definitely not a pleasant topic, but it is too important to be swept under the rug. The case for domestic abuse and crimes within relationships has become increasingly alarming worldwide. Just look at the news on any given day to view real-life events that could easily be titled “Relationships Gone Wild.” There seems to be more of this activity each week from celebrities to someone in your neighborhood. So what comprises domestic violence?

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional/psychological abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence varies dramatically.

The NCADV website pointed out a shocking statistic stating “in the United States, an average of 20 people experience intimate partner physical violence every minute. This equates to more than 10 million abuse victims annually.” That is not an easy statistic to contain mentally given the nature of the act being discussed.

It’s overwhelming that so much horrendous activity is taking place within the context of relationships, married or otherwise. This means that many individuals are suffering on a regular basis while remaining in unhealthy relationships. In addition, “domestic violence hotlines nationwide receive over 20,000 calls on a typical day. One in three female murder victims and one in 20 male murder victims are killed by intimate partners.” This is by no means the extensive list of domestic violence issues and statistics you will find on the website. The goal for this article is to create awareness.

So, how does one protect him or herself from the violence in the relationship? It seems obvious that we can be nothing less than cautious when meeting new people and inviting them into our lives. Sometimes, there are clues, red flags and evidence right in our faces that we choose to ignore. Family and friends are usually aware of bad behavior and will attempt an intervention. But, sometimes the mental trauma can be so corrosive that intelligent reasoning goes right out the door. Family and friends will always be near when they sense that it’s just a matter of time before something goes extremely wrong.

According to NCADV, domestic violence is prevalent in every community, and affects all people regardless of age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or nationality. Physical violence is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior as part of a much larger, systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and even death. The devastating consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.

If you personally know an individual who is encountering any form of domestic violence, offer support through the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or http://www.TheHotline.org. The professionals on the other side of the phone or website are trained to walk a victim through critical steps for their safety. Hopefully, they can help the victims understand that they are not in love, but involved with something much more harmful and destructive. Most of all, the current relationship is not worth dying for.

Peace and Love!!!

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