It’s abuse, no matter the sender

Columnist Naaman Hightower  

Columnist Naaman Hightower

 

According to a survey conducted by Knowledge Networks, 43 percent of college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors. The word “abuse” can sometimes get lost in translation.
A common assumption isabuse is mainly physical, andverbal and emotional abuse is not a real thing.
The trending Twitter hashtag #ButHeDidn’tHitMe says otherwise, when hundreds of young women recounted verbal and emotional abuse, despite not having any physical scars.
My mom would always say life and death are in the power of the tongue. This means that though physical abuse is a real and terrifying ordeal, we often never forget the impact hurtful words someone has said to us in the past.
When dealing with relationships, these words are amplified because of the power of the sender.
When someone you have opened up to and has seen you at your most vulnerable, hurts you with their words, it stings that much more.
What can you do to help prevent relationship abuse? I always told myself that if I ever saw physical or verbal abuse, it was none of my business. Who am I to step into someone else’s relationship when I have no context of what’s going on?
However, when it comes to emotional abuse, the best thing you can do is be there for that person. Sometimes people just need someone who will listen to them and be supportive.
A way to vent frustration is often the medicine people need in order to see they deserve to be treated better. So why do these things happen with two people who care about each other?
Peer pressure isdefinitely a contributing factor. As males, sometimes we have a tendency to act differently towards our significant others when “the boys” are around.
Feelings of having to show our significant other who’s boss or who’s in control are prevalent.
This often can be seen through aggression or snarky commentswe normally wouldn’t do or say otherwise.
Though media and society loves to paint the picture that men are the only donors of abuse, this is not the case.
There is a huge elephant in the room when it comes to the double standard of abuse in relationships.
Women can also target men with physical and verbal abuse, often times playing on their gender role in society.
It’s well known that men are not supposed to hit women, but it’s not quite the same the other way around.
Women can and do play on this known fact and often push the limits of what they say or do, knowinga man will be condemned forever if he responds back irrationally.
Phrases such as “She’s a female” suggest that women are allowed to do whatever they please, yet still don’t deserve a physical reaction.
Abuse is abuse, no matter who the sender is. When you say you love someone, you don’t treat them in a disrespectful way.