#DolphinsLiveWell: Domestic Abuse in Colleges: Break the Cycle!
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Sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are serious problems on college and university campuses. At the same time, the victims of these cruel activities are both female and male. Yet, in the sexual culture of this generation, the act of domestic abuse amongst college campuses has become stigmatized and conformed to be “not that big of a deal” to several college students, especially those living in residential housing. This is a case that needs to be brought into awareness in order to really recognize the damages that it has caused the victims, psychologically and physically. Moreover, we have to bring into our consciousness that this issue of domestic abuse is not limited to only women, but also to males and those within the LGBTQ community. According to a 2011 survey that studied college dating violence and abuse, approximately half of the college student participants were shown to have experienced some sort of domestic violence incident(s) while in college, both male and female. 38% of them did not know how to get help for themselves, and 58% of the bystanders did not know how to help the victim.
If you can just imagine putting yourselves into the perspective of a victim’s life: panicking and having fear crawl up inside you whenever a certain noise, smell, or saying triggers the past memory of being abused, as it replays over and over in your mind. In order to prevent and avoid these acts of violence to continue from happening on college campuses, we must break down the stigma that this sort of treatment is “okay” to receive from others. We have to break the cycle! How might we do this, you may ask? Firstly, find your support system, and that may be a family member, close friends, counselor, mentor, or even online support groups that share their own stories of abuse. These victims want to be understood and often feel isolated as they believe they are the only ones who are going through the trauma. Secondly, reach out to professional resources that can help you overcome the psychological and physical effects caused by the domestic violence event. It is important to take care of yourself and improve your self-concept, which may have been shattered by the abusive incident. And most importantly, share your story and help those who may be in danger of being exposed to domestic violence, whether it is your friend or a stranger at a party. If we ask for help, speak up, and stand up for ourselves and others against domestic violence, our college campus will become a more united and safer community!