Thursday, November 20, 2008

"But I don't beat women!"

Now through Wednesday (and also Nov. 24 and 25), DASH (Domestic Abuse Stops Here) is holding a bag & bracelet sale in the Lewis Alcove.

"We're trying to raise money for the DASH program," said senior Cecily Bonilla. "We raise funds and give them to domestic abuse shelters in the area," she explained.

DASH's aim is to increase domestic abuse awareness on campus and support local efforts. Last month, DASH held an informational meeting for that very cause. "We tried to get guys to come out," Cecily told me, "but most of them were like, 'Well, no! I don't beat women!'"

But everyone can learn from these meetings; and it goes beyond physical abuse.

A year ago, I entered into a relationship with a seemingly sweet, sensitive 28-year-old who appeared to have it all together and played the Prince Charming role perfectly. Within weeks, however, his true nature emerged and he turned out to be excessively controlling and possessive; demanding to know where I was at every moment and freaking out if I wanted to spend time with anyone other than him (including my best friends and family!). Irritated to the core, I googled "How to tell if you're in an abusive relationship." The guy had never physically hurt me, but out of a list of 100 "warning signs," he had committed over 95% of them. Mmhmm.

He was out of my life before we hit the three-month mark, but it wasn't without major drama. This just goes to show how easy it is for a relationship to become abusive, and people may not realize exactly what constitutes "abuse." Emotional and mental factors also come into play. It can go the other way around as well, with the female abusing the male. And let's not forget about gay relationships!

DASH is definitely onto something. So guys, you may not beat up your sig os, but you may still be abusive!


  1. I have been in the similar situation. One of my ex boyfriends first started out as Mr. Perfect until suddenly and dramatically his total personality changed. He became extremely controlling and would not let me go certain places without "checking up" on me. I think it is important to inform girls about this even though it is not physical abuse.

  2. I'm a part of the DASH group, volunteer for the Sarah's Inn Domestic Violence Crisis Line and will soon officially be a state-certified DV victim/survivor advocate. I must say I'm very happy to see this posting on getting the word out and especially both of your willingnesses (I know that's not a word) to share your personal stories to show just how "close to home" and real this problem is.

    Everything you both said about your ex's are classic signs of a potentially physically abusive relationship, and EVERYONE -- either people in a new or old relationship, married, engaged, or not in a relationship, someone nows someone who's in a relationship -- should be aware of these types of signs. You're both right - domestic abuse/violence DOES NOT simply constitute JUST physical abuse (although unfortunately that's what our law says, but we know better). It is the controlling of money, who you spend time with, what clothes you were, etc etc that is technically considered DV as well.

    All I can say is that I hope this word gets out to more people and hope you both help spread it someway, somehow. Thanks!

  3. Forgot to mention that I glad to hear you both have gotten out of those relationships. :)Unfortunately, not many women are able to do so for reasons both pertaining to their situation and the guy they're with. Also, thanks Charlotte for not forgetting about the GBLT people and the fact that some women can be abusive towards men, too!

  4. Hello I am an active member of DASH and the pulicist. Last semester i volunteered at Aunt Martha's. I got to see how violence affect children. I understand and know how Cecily feels about the idea of what men say about joing the group. I remember when DASH had the first lector which was Men's role in ending violence against women. I was one of the greeters. When I tried to tell people about it or to join the lector, I recieved comments like "I don't abuse women", "It doesn't affect me", or "They are stupid for staying".
    Well for those who say it does not affect me, here are some statistics that proves it affect people other than the victim : Male children who witness abuse of 1 parent by another are 700 times more likely to abuse their partners.
    60% of battered women are beaten while pregnant.
    63% of boys ages 11-20 arrested for homicide, have killed their mother’s abuser.
    So did Domestic abuse affect the baby in the mother's stomech or the young men who witness their mother or parent's abuse? Females surrounds us everywhere, whether its your mother, sister, daughter, friend, girlfriend or wife. Since Domestic Abuse includes emotional abuse, a domestic abuse victim may act different towards the sex of an abuser. I am pretty sure the way the domestic abuse victim acts and treats you will affect you.
    To those who stay "why doesn't she just leave?!" Well there are barriers from leaving a abusive relationships, such as Lack of resouces, emotional reasons, tradtional beliefs, and Institutional response.
    So i believe it is very important for people to be educated about Domestic Violence. I am very appreciative for this blog and the people who commented it. Thanks to Charlotte for writing it!

  5. Sorry my laptop is acting up, I meant to say publicist.