Domestic Abuse: Common in these Hallways?


Kayla Weddington, Staff Writer

Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner every single year. One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Now, you might read these facts and think, “Well, that’s never happened to me” or “that’s not something that happens at my school.”. You might read these facts and think, “Well, it’s never this severe.” But what, exactly, is too severe?

If I asked you to spend a passing period simply observing the behaviours between some students and their “significant others,” you too would be shocked by the amount of violence that occurs. There are countless instances where I have seen people pushed down stairs, cursed out, hit, slapped, choked, or dragged by the person they are in a relationship with or are in pursuit of.

And it’s not just the violence that is bad, what’s even worse is the reaction to this assault. In so many instances, (usually with the girls) they simply laugh and continue to pursue the person attacking them.

Just think about it. How many times have you seen girls dragged down the hallway by a guy who has his arm behind her neck almost aggressively enough to be identified as choking? In only two days, I have seen this thirteen times. And each time the girl is smiling and faintly fighting back playfully as if it’s all a joke. Sometimes the girls don’t even retaliate they just let it happen. I had no idea what kind of mental instability you must be in to want to be abused by a guy, but then I started to think about abuse and how it happens and why it happens.

I’ve traced this partially back to the fable that many children hear: If a boy is messing with you that means he likes you. This is one of the most corruptive things to tell a child. That being abused is a sign of shy love and that if a boy is messing with you or treating you bad it’s all because deep down he likes you? And I don’t mean to make this article entirely about girls because boys are abused just as harshly, but that’s an article for another time.

I would like to firstly say that many girls are not mentally weak but some act weak when facing peers they want to impress. I would also like to separate women if that’s all right with you. I’m going to seperate females from women. Women are not necessarily “women” but they understand their self-worth, don’t subject themselves to destruction by other people, and fend for themselves. Females are women who have no self-worth. They allow themselves to be beaten down and fall into the crowd just to fit-in. These females will likely not make it successfully into the future and are at risk of becoming something they never intended to be.

So why are there so many females in the building? What is causing women to degrade themselves to the point where they don’t value their dignity anymore? I’ve interviewed, googled, and pondered for hours to try to find out why this happens and how it can be stopped.

Overall, the responses lined up into one glob of mess. One part of the ‘mess’ is that theses females are not exposed to healthy relationships either at home or at school. A lot of the time people copy the behaviors of their peers or close family members, and when they see these kinds of abuse, they consider it to be normal or even cute.  An anonymous teacher says, “Sometimes I think they think that it’s funny, you know you’ll see a lot of smacking and slapping and I think that’s their way of flirting and then you’ll see the girl giggle so it’s sending a message to the young man that that’s okay…and that’s not good.”

When not exposed to safe and healthy relationships the result is a corrupted idea of love and endearment. And it’s reaching younger and younger audiences as the years go on. I’ve witnessed many freshmen enter this building in August and by May they’re completely different because of negative influences in the hallways and in their peer groups. This is also caused by the faultiness of the upperclassmen who are supposed to be example setters for the lowerclassmen. 

Which causes me to think that maybe the reason for this rise of domestic abuse (and, yes, this is domestic abuse – no matter how mild it can be) is due to this spilling of moral skittles down the morality drain. Perhaps it is causing a lot of mental corruption in high schoolers, causing them to become so obsessive over the idea of a relationship and of finding someone that they are willing to do or take just about anything to ‘have and to hold’.

There isn’t really a clear cut way to end this behavior since it’s steadily becoming a less and less socially objectionable. I have seen too many very good people make very bad decisions and become trapped in this cycle of abuse over my past four years. There is a huge need for a much stronger upper class. One that upholds respect and dignity and leaves behind the unnecessary childishness that creates so many blurry lines between freshmen and senior. Until that happens this cycle of abuse will continue because, as corny as it sounds, high school is a big game of copycat and what’s being copied is unhealthy, unprofessional, and dehumanizing.

None of those characteristics are going to help anyone be successful in the future.