Domestic Violence: More Than Meets The Eye

Violence May Come in Variety of Relationships, Methods


Donna Stone

PALs complete their paper goods scavenger hunt, an annual October service project benefiting Bay Area Turning Point. PALs gathered a total of 55 full 30-gallon bags of paper goods for BATP.

Mikayla Reynolds, Assignment Editor

Domestic violence can effect anyone; It has no gender, race, religion or age.

33% of adolescents in America are victim to sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional dating abuse and  about 1.5 million high school boys and girls in the U.S. admit to being intentionally hit or physically harmed in the last year by someone they are romantically involved with.

Domestic violence can come in may forms and abusers will use a variety of tactics to gain, regain or maintain control in a relationship—any type of relationship.

“It can be a boyfriend or girlfriend, it could be friends or family, it is violence between people who know each other,” Student Support Counselor Mrs. Amy Ruiz said. “It can even be an acquaintance. It doesn’t have to be someone you are related to. It can also be emotional as well as physical.”

The effects of domestic violence on the victims can be debilitating. Domestic violence is often experienced by children and teens as a traumatic event, even if they are just witnessing it.

One in three women and one in four men have been victims of violence from a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend at least once in their life, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. But according to the U.S. Department of Justice, only about half of domestic violence incidents are reported to police, as victims fear of revenge or thinking the crime is too personal or not important, among other reasons. Teens who have been abused hesitate to seek help because they do not want to expose themselves or are unaware of the laws surrounding domestic violence.

Teens who suffer dating abuse are subject to long-term consequences like alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, thoughts of suicide, and violent behavior. There is a 24-hour crisis hotline for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault at 1-800-339-7752. This can provide resources and emotional support to callers, but it is not the only resources.

“Bay Area Turning Point has a shelter and other resources and the shelter is in a secret location so the victim location will be private,” Mrs. Ruiz said.

People always ask why victims don’t leave and it’s not as simple as one would think, people are often murdered or seriously injured for trying to leave these relationships.

“First, please keep in mind that leaving might seem like the best decision, but so often a victim has many reasons for staying in an abusive relationship,” a representative of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence said. “Since an abusive person will do anything to maintain his or her power and control in the relationship, we know that leaving can also be a dangerous time for a victim.”

To get help if you or someone you know is in a violent relationship, call National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224, available 24/7.