Sam Nevada

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is an ever present problem in the country we live in. We need to take steps to prevent the cycle from repeating itself.

“He loves me I swear.” “She promised she won't do it again.” “He's just going through a rough time.” How about when Alan Hawe told his wife ‘if you ever leave me, I’ll jump in the car, drive off, and kill the kids,” and then did, as reported by Buzzfeed. Where does it end? On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. Everyday, young women and men feel fearful for their safety because of trauma caused by their partners. Many of these victims never reach out for help and turn to numbing agents, or worse, suicide. As a society, we ignore the fact that children are being exposed to these toxic environments and we need to explicitly teach children the strategies to form healthy relationships. Although there are many campaigns to end the violence and the stigma surrounding domestic violence, there is not a focus on stopping it before it begins. We need to shift the focus, reaching out to children who are still too young to enter into romantic relationships. We teach students how to avoid STIs, but not domestic abuse. We can start by creating sections in health education to discuss and display what a healthy and functioning intimate relationship looks like. Students need to be hands-on and roleplay this dynamic to see firsthand the rewards of being valued and feeling valued in return. Modeling an unhealthy relationship to see the consequences and associated feelings that come with it will allow them to experience how to recognize the dynamic before it starts.