Recently, Aroldis Chapman was in the news for a domestic violence issue, and unfortunately, it is just one of so many domestic violence issues in the news every day. This is a very serious problem all around the United States and it must stop. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), ten million people in the U.S. are abused either verbally or physically by their partners. This abuse should not happen to anyone, but sadly, it does. The movement to stop such a serious problem is growing due to increased public awareness.
The NCADV was started in 1978, and from the beginning, has been pushing society towards a zero tolerance policy for domestic violence. They are the voice for the victims, and their support goes to keeping those who are abused safe. Public donations for the NCADV go towards educational programs set up to inform and empower individuals and communities in hopes of putting an end to the violence. A portion of the organization’s funds goes to a cosmetic surgery program for victims who bear physical scars from abuse.
Chapman’s case is just one of millions. Shockingly, every one woman out of three is abused by her partner, and one of four men suffers the same fate. Whether it is verbal, physical, or both, it is a very serious problem that must be stopped. NCADV activist Ashley Bendiksen told her story just recently. She stated that her two-year relationship started out great, but quickly went horribly wrong. At first, she would brush off her partner’s mood swings due to his having a bad day, but it got worse and escalated into violence. In most situations like this, the warning signs are overlooked in the beginning because of how wonderful the relationship seems.
As the abuse continues, women usually feel alone and isolated, but that is not the case. There are organizations set up to help domestic violence victims get away from their abusers if they find it too difficult to leave on their own. In the case of abused men, they may feel like less of a man because their female partners are exerting power over them. Almost from birth, men are taught by society as a whole that it is never okay to hit, or put their hands on, a woman. Men on the abused end of domestic violence usually live with this in mind.
Domestic violence does not care what religion a person is, what nationality, or if they are the girlfriend of a star athlete. It can happen to anyone. Abusers are interested only in having power over their victims. The abuser likes to control the situation, whatever it might be. If, for some reason, that control is lost, or their partner is with someone else, the abuser may become angry and attempt to regain control in a violent manner.
Domestic violence issues are in the news every day in the U.S. On December 15, 2015, in California, the older brother to San Bernadine shooter Syed Rizwan Farook was involved in a domestic violence disturbance, but a lack of evidence prevented prosecutors from charging him. In Gilroy, Calif., police shot a 19-year-old domestic violence suspect. Also on December 15, 2015, 23-year-old Wendal Williamson, Jr. of High Point, N.C., is wanted for violating a domestic violence protective order. In Aberdeen, Ohio, the trial of former police chief Clark Gast began. Gast is charged with attacking his wife and her 10-year-old daughter.
Domestic violence remains a serious problem all around the country, and is in the news constantly. The NCADV is working towards bringing an end to these senseless acts and is there to protect the victims. The one important thing victims need to know is they are not alone. There is a way for them to get away and stay safe. Every day, men and women suffer from abuse. The toll-free number for the NCADV is 1-800-799-SAFE.
Opinion by Katherine Miller-Chichester
Domesticviolence.com: Domestic violence should not happen to anyone ever period.
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: Mission statement
Featured Image Courtesy of Maryland GovPic’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License