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LETTER TO THE EDITOR — A plea for domestic violence awareness

Dear Editor:

Hello, my name is Aileen Nguyen and I am currently a freshman at Lamar University. I wanted to submit an article to raise awareness about domestic violence. As it has been a problem for a while, I believe that the readers of The News should be informed of this information. Knowing this information could possibly come in use one day.
Domestic violence is a pattern of acts a person uses to maintain power and control over another person in a personal relationship. This form of violence is non-discriminatory, meaning that anyone of any age, race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation may be a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence. It is practical to identify domestic violence in various forms such as emotionally, physically, or sexually. Physical abuse is the most common among the many types there are.

While physical abuse is the most recognizable, not many people take action to address the problem. This results in the use of force causing injury to the victim which could be either major or minor. The abuser for instance can slap a person many times causing only minor injuries that do not include a hospital visit but would be still considered domestic violence. Most abusers experienced firsthand abuse themselves which causes them to treat others the way they were treated growing up. They turn to violence as a way to vent their anger and cope with their own personal problems. Depending on the relationship with the victim, the effects can differ.

Marital abuse is not often talked about but is one of the biggest health concerns in a household as it affects the whole family. Many people with very traditional beliefs think that they are entitled to dominate their spouse, and that women are not equal to men. Violence against women can cause long-term physical and mental health problems. Violence and abuse affect not only the women involved, but also their children, families, and communities. Such consequences include harm to a person’s health and may also be linked to emotional abuse. Although women are usually abused in marital relationships, there are often situations in which men are abused as well.

Child abuse is another more commonly known form of domestic violence. Children are severely affected by physical abuse, even if they themselves are not victims of violence. It has been shown that a large number of children who experience their mothers being victimized have serious behavioral and emotional problems. Children experiencing physical abuse are also more likely to be victims and or perpetrators as an adult. Children are also generally abused directly which leads to emotional problems such as rage, aggression, fear, anxiety, embarrassment, reduced self-esteem, and inability to express feelings. Long-term consequences include depression, social problems, and even the possibility of suicide.

Physical abuse can affect someone instantly, but it can also have long-lasting effects. Individuals who have experienced physical violence during childhood in particular may develop emotional and psychological problems later in life. While some may find abuse to be mistreatment only when the effect is physical harm, most forms of behaviors are actually considered to be violent whether it was physically or not. In particular, it may be considered that a person who causes undue physical harm to an intimate partner, child, or elder may be abusive. Their actions can also be determined as assault.

Aileen Nguyen, Port Arthur