Domestic Violence Remembered

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TAKES MANY FORMS: PHYSICAL, MENTAL, ELDER ABUSE, HUMAN TRAFFICKING, BULLYING, NON-TRADITIONAL SEXUAL ORIENTATION, DISEASE STEREOTYPES, AND, ON AND ON AND ON.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says "the constant component of domestic violence is one partner's consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other".   I had never heard of domestic violence or what it meant until all the public awareness began about it.  The NCADV started in 1978 but keeping the definition in mind I actually saw it in High School with the inseparable couples in my school.  Back then, I thought it was jealousy and love but now I see it fits the definition of domestic violence.


The incident I want to focus on began my freshman year in college.  A very good friend, whom I named Amanda for this article, was scheduled to be my roommate and we were both so excited about what to expect for the next four years.  Amanda was so talented, intelligent and determined to succeed. We were planning all summer what we would do the first week of college.  However, there was a factor that occurred that we never planned.  My roommate met a handsome, articulate, smooth-talking sophomore engineering student the very first week.  That meeting blossomed into romance very quickly and that was the beginning of the end of our friendship.  The couple spent every minute of their free time together.   Even at night in their different dorm rooms they would talk on the phone to each other late into the night and begin back on the phone early the next morning.   I had never seen such closeness nor did I ever want to have a relationship like that.  Whenever Amanda's boyfriend could not find Amanda he would call me asking about her whereabouts.  At first I thought it was cute that they were so in love but later it started to seem really weird.


At the beginning of my sophomore year, the two were engaged and they married New Year's Day.  Consequently, I had to get a new roommate.   I saw Amanda less and less and by graduation her character had changed so much I barely recognized the young lady I began college with as my roommate. She transformed from a very smart, career-focused, ambitious and outgoing person into a person that had lost her identity in her husband's world.  She was isolated from friends and family and seemed totally controlled by him.   My next encounter with her was ten years later.  She was a mother of one child, divorced and back on track to fulfilling her dreams.  I am so glad during that ten year span she had the courage to break away from a relationship that kept her from being who she really was.

ANONYMOUS LETTER FROM A FRIEND CONCERNED ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.