Ignorance Propagates Brutality


Karley Glover , Graphics Editor

A boy walks into school; scrapes and bruises cover his arms. He says he fell off of his bike, nothing more. He goes through his day in pain, barely holding in his screams and covering his arms so the bruises aren’t seen.

For many, home is a place of love, warmth and comfort. Home is somewhere to be surrounded by care and support—to take a break from the chaos of the outside world. For millions, home is anything but a sanctuary. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are victims of physical violence every year.

When the general public thinks of domestic violence, they usually think of physical assault resulting in visible injuries to the victim. However, several categories of abusive behavior exist, each with its own devastating consequences. Lethality involved with physical abuse may place the victim at higher risk, but the long term destruction of a person that accompanies other forms of abuse is significant and cannot be minimized. Control, physical, verbal, sexual and emotional abuse, intimidation, rape and stalking all fall into the category of domestic violence.

According to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused in the United States. 19 percent of domestic violence incidents involve a weapon, and 50 percent end in death.

Victims often find going to authorities difficult. “[The victim] may feel trapped and like [they] have no way out,” said behavioral counselor Nicholas Beard. The fear of a more catastrophic outburst often prevents a victim from seeking the help they need. “[Abuse] can be a fear to talk about because then something really does have to be done about it,” Beard said. Simply leaving the person often isn’t a solution. In severe cases, the abuser may stalk the victim, creating an even bigger issue for the abused.

But what causes people to act out in violent manners? An aggressor may act out for a variety of reasons. Often times the abuser has deeper issues—and in some cases—mental illness. “They could have anxiety or depression, and it unfortunately comes through as anger,” Beard said.

The month of October has been recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness month. During October, the NCADV is working towards bringing attention to the severity of domestic abuse.

As a catalyst for changing society, the NCADV works to have zero tolerance for domestic violence. By affecting public policy, increasing understanding and providing programs and education to communities, the organization strives to better society.

So how can you help? Even if not abused yourself, attending domestic violence awareness classes or reading up on the issue could benefit you and your community. By identifying an abusive relationship, you could help save a friend’s mental and physical state or even their life. As a bystander, you may want to confront the abuser; however, this isn’t always a smart idea. As an outsider, it’s best to support the victim and go to authorities with the issue. It’s crucial to do your part rather than stand aside. Without help, the outcome may be fatal for the victim.

The boy lays in bed, broken, bleeding and barely breathing. As he takes his last gasp, he wishes he would’ve just told his friends why he had the bruises.

Photo Courtesy of: Betterhelp.com