Knowing when to seek help

Domestic violence a common issue that needs to be addressed

Tess Riecke, Staff Writer

“It will only happen once.”

“I just lost my temper.”

These are some of the excuses made by people who abuse their significant other. One in three women and one in four men will be abused in some way.

Domestic violence includes both physical and mental abuse. The most important thing to know if you are being abused is to seek help.

It’s so difficult to get out of the situation alone so finding help from a relative, friend or counselor will make things easier.

But it can be hard sometimes to tell if it is abuse or not.

Mental abuse goes beyond mean names and hateful words. It also includes controlling behaviors. Some signs of this type of mental abuse are not letting you hang out with certain people, ruining your self-confidence and not letting you go out and do things you want to do.

These are subtle, but do a lot of damage. Imagine being in a relationship for two years and not being allowed to see any friends during this time.

Once you get out of the relationship, some of those friends might have moved on which can make recovery more difficult.

Physical abuse can be anything from getting hit to being raped.

Most people aren’t aware that marital rape is actually a crime. Since the couple is married, then the partner has to consent to sex, right?

Well, in the past, marital rape wasn’t something that was dealt with criminally. Women were told to be quiet about it. Now, it is something that can be pursued legally.

However, there is still a stigma against those who do press charges against their spouse. These stigmas only make it harder for someone to come forward. Just because you are in a relationship, married or not, does not give your significant other the right to your body. No still means no.

People abuse their significant other for many reasons. One of the main reasons is because the abuser saw their parents get abused or were abused themselves. It often turns into a vicious cycle of never-ending abuse.

Another reason is mental disorders like anger management issues. Sometimes the abuse only happens when the abuser is drunk or high. With any of these causes, the abuser needs to get professional help.

The hardest thing for anyone getting abused is getting out of the situation. Places like the Haven House here in Wayne are good sources for information. Also going to the WSC counseling office will help.

The Haven House has a 24-hour hotline that can help answer any questions at 1-800-440-4633. If you are in immediate danger, however, you need to call 911 right away.

Haven House also provides emergency housing, peer support groups, legal and medical advocacy and emergency financial assistance.

If you know or think anyone you know is being abused, don’t ignore it. Going to a victim can be difficult because they can sometimes make excuses for the abuser.

It is important to seek help from the Haven House or WSC counseling because it could potentially save someone’s life.