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Why We Need Abuse Education

March 17, 2017

This article was written by Kelly Galten

As a decided feminist, I am passionate about helping the victims of sexual assault. There are many shocking statistics about college women experiencing this trauma. Their sisters and brothers who are experiencing abuse emotionally, physically, mentally, and digitally need to be recognized as well. Victims of abuse are not lepers to society – they are some of its most powerful voices. So little education is given about these situations that many do not know basic forms of abuse, so that’s what I’m here to help with.

…58% of parents could not correctly identify the signs of abuse.

The Oxford Dictionary defines rape as; “the crime, typically committed by a man, of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with the offender against their will.” Physical abuse is defined by Merriam-Webster as “physical maltreatment” (How specific). Differencebetween.com differentiates emotional and mental abuse; mental abuse is the damaging of someone’s mental stability, and emotional abuse is the damage of a person’s emotions through manipulation, harassment, humiliation, neglect, etc. Digital abuse includes cyber bullying and stalking through social media. While some of these definitions cross over, the first step in raising awareness is educating yourself.

Now, why do college students need to learn one more subject on top of all their daily classes and challenges? You should know because your best friend, significant other, sibling, or relative might be suffering. If someone abuses you, you have a right to know what they did to you. You need to know because of high school students have been abused in one of these ways. You need to know because nearly half of all college women report having been in an abusive relationship. You need to know because 81% of parents don’t think dating abuse in teenage relationships is an issue, even though 58% of parents could not correctly identify the signs of abuse.

Cal State Monterey Bay offers the Personal Growth and Counseling Center, the Campus Health Center, Title IX Coordination, and Advocates from the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center as resources to students. All statistics pulled from loveisrespect.org.

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