Know the signs of abuse

Courtney Upah, Staff Writer

Abusive relationships typically start out well and gradually get worse, and for Wayne State College student Deborah Schmucker, this was exactly the case.

However, she decided to take this dangerous situation and use it to learn and teach others about abusive relationships, speaking at Haven House earlier this year, and now The Wayne Stater.

“The relationship I was in was abusive emotionally and, toward the end, physically,” Schmucker said. “No one would begin a relationship if they knew the person was abusive from the get go. It was a gradual progression.”

Schmucker explained that at first he was sweet and thoughtful, but even back then she noticed some warning signs. Some of these warning signs were: rushing into deep feelings of love, obsession over revenge or intense grudges, as well as regular drug and alcohol abuse.

“When he would get down about something, he was super low, then he would find a way to blame me for any uncomfortable emotion he felt, even if I had absolutely nothing to do with the situation. He would call me names or say things to make me feel inferior,” Schmucker said.

Abusive relationships may leave a person feeling worthless or unloved, so it is particularly important to connect with family and friends.

“Your friends and family know you so well, even if you don’t want to believe it. A big mistake I made was going against my friends’ advice about this relationship,” Schmucker said.

Abusive relationships often involve manipulation and a cycle of abuse so it is difficult to leave.

“If you know someone who is in a bad or abusive relationship, don’t get mad at them for not leaving. It’s so hard to leave,” Schmucker said. “I consider myself a strong-willed person and it was an act of God that I was given the opportunity to drive away from the relationship I was in.”

If you’re in an abusive situation you can contact the WSC Counseling Center at 402-375-7321, Haven House at 402-375-4633, or call the police.