There's NO excuse for ABUSE.
Sounds a bit obvious, right? But I'm finding a lot of people are having trouble understanding this concept. Last Thursday I blogged that my week hadn't ended on the best note. I live in a dorm, and anyone who has ever lived at college (or in a New York apartment) knows that when the walls are paper thin you can hear EVERYTHING.
Unfortunately what I heard was my suite mate verbally abusing his girlfriend. They've gotten into fights before that have crossed the line into the gray area of verbal abuse, but this crossed the line and jumped off the cliff. Shut the fuck up. You're retarded. Do you want me to hit you?
So why didn't I report him? I was paralyzed. The best thing I could do was leave the dorm altogether. Last summer I took a seven month hiatus from blogging. At the time I was in an emotionally and psychologically abusive relationship. This was not my sole reason for not blogging, but my ex did make it very difficult for me to devote any time to my personal interests. Listening to my suite mate, living on the same floor as him, sharing the same shower has brought up a lot of buried emotions that I blocked out for a reason.
This isn't the first instance of verbal or emotional abuse in my dorm alone. My friend who lives on a different floor is in a similar situation where because of the paper thin walls she's been able to hear her suite mate say some pretty out of line things to his girlfriend. Is my dorm just cursed with abusive asshats?! I'm totally reading the fine print before room draw for next year.
While I was to paralyzed too report either guy, I did find my own way to take some action on the situation. I designed a series of domestic abuse awareness flyers which I've posted all across my dorm.
The lighting on the pictures isn't the best since my friend and I ended posting them up at 3am. I also did posters for emotional and sexual abuse. (If anyone wants them, I can e-mail you them in word format)
Romance novels get a bad rep when it comes to abuse. Look at the asshat heroes of Harlequin Presents. But the romance genre is HUGE. It can't be judged based on one series, or books published in the '70s or '80s. Reading romance has always reminded me that love and relationships don't have to be that way, that people can respect each other as equals. One of the first things I did when I got out of my abusive relationship was read tons of romance- it was really therapeutic.
If you or someone you love is in an abusive relationship of any sort, there is a way out. No one deserves to be abused.
There is NO excuse for ABUSE.