Addressing Abuse

Cartoon by Stefanie Diers.

With Valentine’s Day coming up, most of us admittedly romanticize love. It’s a nice feeling and we all pursue it in our lives. However, love doesn’t come without its risks, especially for young adults at colleges across America.

Being in love can be exciting and fun. However, the stigma of being “in love” and being in a relationship isn’t worth it when you are being physically, emotionally or verbally abused.

We at The New Paltz Oracle encourage those who are in abusive relationships or experiencing inter-partner violence to understand that significant others may come and go in your life, but you are not replaceable. It is important to keep your health, both mental and physical, as your top priority. You should never settle for anyone who makes you feel inadequate.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.”

At a time where everyone’s lives are plastered all over social media, it is difficult to not feel incomplete by comparison. Perhaps seeing a picture of a happy couple sparks jealousy in a person who is not currently in a relationship, or even someone who is.

The longing that single people trudge through can make them accept the first person who shows the slightest interest in them. This of course is potentially dangerous because they might be too enamored with someone who is ultimately not beneficial to their life.

As a result, the glowing, glittering image of having a special someone shines even brighter. Those in an abusive relationship may downplay their own abuse to convince themselves that they are as happy as those they see on social media.

People will always put their best face forward on social media, thus making it difficult for their followers to understand what the poster’s life is like behind the screen. It is critical to understand this when comparing your life to that of another, everyone has a personal life that they hide from the public eye.

Although someone appears to be in a happy relationship on social media, this may not be so and if you are in an abusive relationship you should get out of it regardless of what others are doing with their lives. Sometimes appearances are deceiving. There can be relationship harm happening in plain sight and we must take it upon ourselves to be better people and handle it maturely.

It’s important to acknowledge that this week is Respect Week and that partner abuse can happen to anyone. When acting as a source of help to someone, remember that domestic violence has neither a gender nor sexuality. Additionally, if there is violence in heterosexual partnerships, the perpetrator of that abuse can be either the man or woman.

For anyone seeking assistance in dealing with an abusive relationship, The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). For deaf callers, video phone is accessible at 1-855-812-1001 (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. PST). Text messaging is also available at 1-800-787-3224.

Editorials represent the views of the majority of the editorial board. Columns, op-eds and letters, excluding editorials, are solely those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The New Paltz Oracle, its staff members, the campus and university or the Town or Village of New Paltz.