Being a Virginian, and with many friends and family who are University of Virginia alumni, it hits close to home that a year ago today, a female UVa. student was found in her college quarters beaten to death. And shockingly, her boyfriend is the one who stands trial for her murder.
Glamour magazine covered the UVa. story a year ago, but was disturbed when headline after headline in the media repeated that same story with different women and their partners. They conducted a poll with Harris Interactive of 2,500 women. The findings? That 30 percent of women in relationships have been abused by their partners. Looking closer, when the term “abuse” is expanded to include emotional as well as physical abuse, the number rises to an alarming 60 percent.
Have you ever been in a relationship where you were abused? Or, have you witnessed it happening to someone you know? It’s one of those things that might be easier to notice from the outside, and perhaps a grey area unless your friend confides in you. But should you say something? Absolutely. (Glamour has an article here about how to start this type of definitely-uncomfortable conversation.)
What’s also appalling is how underfunded one the biggest programs confronting domestic violence is. In 2010, the National Domestic Violence Hotline had to let over 80,000 calls go answered! What can you do? You can text TELLNOW to 85944 to make a $10 donation toward the hotline–up to $200,000 of donations will be matched by the Avon Foundation for Women. Also, check out Glamour’s new “Tell Somebody” campaign.
On a local level, the Help and Emergency Response (H.E.R.) Shelter in Portsmouth has a 24-hour hotline for referrals or information. H.E.R. also provides emergency shelter to women and children. Check out their website if you want more info.