By Daniella Smajlaj, Chaiim Singer Barber, Hailey Russo and Damani Eason
There have been many reported cases of relationship abuse among celebrities ranging from Chris Brown and Rihanna to, more recently, Amber Heard and Johnny Depp (The Comet makes no judgement on those relationships). Since many teenagers follow these celebrities and hear accusations of abuse, it’s time for teens to learn the actual signs of being in an abusive relationship.
Relationship abuse often happens because the abuser has a lack of power which causes him or her to need to be more dominating. S/he usually feels insecure and takes it out on the significant other.
Violence in relationships can happen anywhere at anytime, and it just as easily can be obvious or hard to detect.
According to thehotline.org, published online by the Department of Health and Human Services, obvious signs that you’re in an abusive relationship start with one person humiliating the other person, hurting them physically, monitoring their every move time, and/or threatening to use a weapon against them. On the other hand, hidden signs would be discouraging the person from seeing and/or contacting their family, isolating them from going out and even going to important places; such as work or school.
According to ncadv.org, published by The National Domestic Violence Hotline, one in four men have been victims of physical abuse by intimate partner throughout their lifetime and one in three women have faced abuse throughout their lifetime.
Several HHS psychologists and social workers visited the school’s Journalism Class to discuss the topic of relationship abuse. Ms. S Millard, a community educator specialist and Bergen County Alternative to Domestic Violence, also spoke to the class and started off her powerpoint presentation by saying, “One in three high school students are involved in some kind of physical, emotional and/ or sexual abuse.”
According to StopRelationshipAbuse.org, the majority of relationship abuse is committed by men against women in a heterosexual relationship. However, one in four women will experience domestic violence throughout their lifetime. It’s scary to know that one in four women will be abused in their lifetime while one in 71 men would also face abuse in their relationships also.
Mr. Sanchez, an HHS Licensed Clinical Social Worker, was asked, “What is a male supposed to do if he was the one being abused?” He responded, “Males [are] less likely [to] report the situation because of common [gender] roles in a relationship [which is that] a male is suppose to have the power in the relationship and it could be embarrassing and [even] more humiliating more for the guy due to society and gender roles.”
Mr. Sanchez also elaborated by saying, “(the guy) is being emasculated (for not controlling the abuse that) the female (is doing), which is why they would be less likely to report the situations.”
According to the website Safevoices.org, 16,800 homicides happen due to abusive relationships while two million dollars each year is spent medically to take care of victims in an abusive relationship.
So what can people do to lower these rates? Mr.Sanchez, “Bringing it to people’s attention is the first step. Second is discussing the problem and acknowledging the situation and finding strategies. A third step is to look for a person’s reasoning for abuse. Lastly, put something in place so (that) they have an escape plan to get themselves out of that situation.”