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A Word about the Intrinsic, Humanistic Necessity to Dominate

Teen Dating Violence has been an issue since, like, the academy (or at least when it became culturally acceptable for adolescents to court). That intrinsic, humanistic necessity to dominate, and to manifest anger out by physical/verbal means is perennial. In the early-to-mid 20th century America, “teen dating violence” was not a notion of existence. In fact, any physical manifestation of abuse from partner to partner, which, at the time, largely executed by the male, was socially accepted, and simply seen as some sick declaration of compassion. And appallingly enough was so socially appropriate, that it was often depicted on television (the 50’s sitcom “I love Lucy” is infamous for this)! You’d think all the movements aimed to preserve civil rights would’ve effaced this issue today. I am sad to say that it is not only existent, but occurring now more than ever.

Of course, the vibrancy of this issue is enlivened with budding modernizations like social media and cellphones. And while one might think these conveniences may more easily verbalize and bring exposure the issue, they’re more often being used as platforms and interfaces to commit the sin in itself (ever hear of Cyber bullying?). Nowadays, Dating violence is indiscriminate to gender, race, and/or sexuality. According to Chip Thompson, founder of respect2all.org (an online site that aims to educate the public on this global aggravation), some examples include (but are not limited to) physical abuse, which can be defined as any intentional act causing injury or trauma to another person by way of bodily contact, sexual abuse, which includes unwarranted force or pressure to get a partner to consent, rape or attempted rape, and attempting or having sexual relations with a person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and, more popularly, verbal and emotional abuse, which stems in the aggressor’s desire to control the other person’s behavior. The abuser tries to limit a dating partner’s ability to act independently, and undermines their confidence. Verbal abuse can include swearing at a partner, insulting and belittling them, and threatening or terrorizing them with words.

In my recent travels to northern Pakistan, I met with a number of women- In fact, calling them “women” is an inequitable abduction of their adolescence; they were girls. Dating violence in the “Gaow” (villages) was (and in no way am I trivializing the issue in America) infinitely more rapacious, only because it was not properly subjugated. Dating Violence was acid attacks, dowry deaths, bride burnings, and rape, not to disregard the heinous emotional and mental malevolence that is obviously also being exhibited. And what made these matters really unnerving was that there were absolutely no laws in some of these areas to protect the victims, not to mention, a complete and total absence of resources to emotionally service the victims. This, though a bit harshly, brings me to my plea. If you or someone you know is suffering from dating violence, which, as you know, can be physical AND/OR verbal, PLEASE UTILIZE your resources. Inform others. There are a number of anonymous talk lines, community-run organizations, psychiatric, and legal services available to only aid you. Please DO NOT squander your resources. Invest in YOUR future, and invest in YOURSELF.

Posted by Rania Mankarious, on 5 Mar 2016

About the author

Executive Director of Crime Stoppers of Houston