Not alone

Written by: Libby Thoma | Staff Writer

According to the Legal Information Institute, abuse is described as “an action that intentionally causes harm or injures another person.” Abuse can happen to anyone — any gender, race and sexuality is susceptible to abuse. Although abuse is mainly perceived to occur in romantic relationships, it can occur in any interpersonal relationship. 

Multiple forms of abuse exist such as physical, sexual and verbal abuse along with, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, digital and financial abuse. Coercion is also a type of abuse, which includes reproductive and sexual coercion. Lastly, stalking is also considered a form of abuse.

Many people are not properly educated on what constitutes abuse. This can lead to victims not knowing that what they are experiencing is, in fact, abuse and may struggle to find a way out. Experiencing any physical violence, threats of physical violence or any language that is aimed at controlling, scaring or isolating a person is abuse. Abuse doesn’t only exist within these lines and is more complicated than what can be quantified. Control is the main factor behind abusive behaviors. If one is feeling controlled in any sense of the word, one may be experiencing abuse and should reach out for help. 

According to the domestic violence hotline, 24 people per minute are victims of abuse by an intimate partner, and this excludes all other interpersonal relationships in which abuse can occur. 

An anonymous source spoke about her story, “I had no clue what I was getting myself into. In the beginning, there was no abuse, it was a normal relationship. But as time went on he began to hit me, assault me and limit what food I ate and how much I ate. It’s so hard to see it when you’re in it too, because they’ll apologize while also isolating you from everyone. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how bad it was, and it’s almost three years later.”

There are many resources available for those experiencing abuse. 

The Domestic Abuse Hotline — (800)-799-7233

National Sexual Assault Hotline — 1-800-656-4673,

Abby’s house — (503) 838-8219

One may also visit the Victim Connect Research Center

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