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Domestic abuse, more common than you think

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At Morton East High School, a survey shows that 63 out of 100 female students at Morton said they’ve encountered domestic abuse at some point in their dating life.  

Females between the ages of 16 and 24 are roughly 3 times more likely than the rest of the population to be abused by an intimate partner.  Domestic abuse is not just physical abuse it can be fear of your partner, them preventing you from doing what you choose, sexual violence, and emotional abuse. In most cases the person experiencing it first hand doesn’t even realize or admit  they’re being domestically abused. It can become blind to one’s eye when you really love the person, however that doesn’t mean it’s okay. There’s always someone to talk to.  Victims  are not alone in this situation.  What people don’t realize is that this type of abuse is extremely common among teens, primarily girls.  

A series of questions were asked to one of the deans at Morton East, who has previously worked at a social service agency where they help domestic violence victims.

“I worked at a social services agency… it had like a place where you can seek help from there… sometimes people are afraid to call the police… so this would be the first step to help them. It helps them seek out shelters or housing because often times if they’re in… violent situations they’re afraid that if they get the help they need, they’re going to be homeless.  The social services agency I worked at they helped mostly women and children but there were men too. For students suffering from domestic abuse, they can seek out to police,  agencies,  family members, friends.  Any teacher, any counselor, dean, social worker, the principal, the ap, literally any adult in this building, security. They just have to tell someone at some point.   If their friend is being domestically abused, if their  friend’s afraid to come forward and if it’s confidential they can still come tell us and then we’ll still find a way to pull that person, talk  to them and then hopefully get them to a point where they can be honest with us about stuff like that.  Our ultimate goal is to make sure they’re safe.  So if they’re afraid that their friend is not willing to come forward we do ask other people to come forward and say ‘hey this is what’s going on it’s not cool my friend is getting hurt,’” dean Mr. Dugan said.

  Some girls are frightened to speak up about their experiences, but it’s time that we stand up for ourselves against this abuse.

“At first, I did keep it to myself, I was scared and vulnerable, I cared for him and I was 16 so I didn’t know what love was, I really tried to understand where he was coming from because I knew he was going through a lot, one night it just hit me, like why am I putting up with this? I ended up leaving once I had the courage, he cheated and I knew I deserved better, we tried ending on good terms but I decided it was best if we never spoke again…. This person physically, mentally and verbally abused me in ways I couldn’t even imagine letting myself go through now and thinking back to it makes me wish no one ever experiences this fear ever in their life especially at such a young age, that is not love and we can’t let ourselves be treated like that, we have the voice now so lets use it,” senior Britney Zamora said.

Another victim, who preferred to remain anonymous gives her recount of the toxic relationship she was in.

“[He] would make me feel like I was worthless.  I was young and stupid and I allowed some boy to tell me all these things that little did I know would affect my self image years later.  He would not only emotionally harm me but physically as well.  Once we were arguing and he slapped me across the face and pushed me back so hard I broke a mirror and was left with cuts and bruises.  He made me promise I wouldn’t tell anyone the truth about how I got them, or else he would kill himself.  When I finally broke free of that situation it felt so good although there was a lot of repairing to do.  I encourage anyone who is going through this to speak up before it’s too late.”

Students who feel they have been abused should report the abuse to a dean, teacher, counselor or social worker.  Call 1-800-799-7233 – The domestic abuse hotline.

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The student news site of Morton East High School
Domestic abuse, more common than you think