Love Doesn’t Hurt

Domestic Violence Month

Domestic violence: It’s still an issue that is largely downplayed on college campuses. But what constitutes domestic violence? It is an umbrella term which encompasses name-calling, controlling behaviors, intimidation, stalking, actual or threatened physical harm, or sexual assault.

Approximately 70% of domestic violence cases go unreported – victims insist ‘nothing happened’ or the altercation ‘was just an argument.’ Students are at high-risk for dating violence, as they are often unaccustomed to identifying red flags or classifying dangerous or abusive behaviors. Because they may not always know what is normal in a relationship, victims may make excuses for the abusers. The majority of domestic violence cases on campuses are nonphysical; stalking, verbal or electronic abuse are widespread. There is a plethora of misinformation surrounding the problem.

Myths: 1) Only straight women get battered. 2) Men are never victims. 3) Domestic violence is not an LGBTQ issue.

Georgia Southern University’s Counseling Center is hosting a discussion entitled “Love Doesn’t Hurt” tonight at 5 PM in Russell Union Room 2048. Led by a trained psychologist, it will specifically focus on how to build healthy relationships within the LGBTQ community. Why is this significant? Read on to find out.

A “National Violence Against Women” survey found that 21.5% of men and 35.4% of women in same-sex relationships experienced intimate-partner physical violence in their lifetimes. Compare this with the percentages of 7.1% and 20.4% respectively for men and women within opposite-sex relationships, and it is immediately seen that the LGBTQ community needs this message. Domestic violence is one of the community’s most serious health risks and affects significant numbers of the population.

The message of self-respect does not just apply to same-sex relationships – if you are being abused, remember that it is not your fault and that you are not alone. Getting help does not mean you are weak. Seek out friends, teachers, counselors, or anyone who will support you as you stand up for yourself. You deserve the best.

“Love is joy. Don’t convince yourself that suffering is a part of it.” – Paulo Coelho

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