There are many young people trapped in relationships marked not by love, but by abuse. Since the days of Romeo and Juliet, there has been a tendency to idealize young love. However, the reality is that young love is no more immune to trouble than love at any other age.
Abuse is a pattern of behavior where one uses his or her power. Abuse can be physical, emotional or sexual. Slapping, hitting and kicking are forms of physical abuse that can occur in both romances and friendships.
Emotional abuse, like teasing, bullying, and humiliating others, can be difficult to recognize because it doesn’t leave any visible scars, nevertheless it leaves many lasting emotional scars and bruises somewhere down the line. A person may be in love while in an abusive relationship; they may hope and believe that their partner will change, or they may be afraid of what their partner will do if they leave.
According to Ebony magazine, research has shown that 36 to 50 percent of American women have been or will be abused in their lifetime. Although, females sometimes abuse males, nine out of 10 victims are females. In fact, 42 percent reported murders were committed by a life partner.
Many teens misinterpret certain types of affection as love and a partner sweeping him or her off of their feet and declaring love immediately is a dream relationship; however, this is the number one sign of a potential abusive relationship according to Ebony magazine. Not wanting the other to have other friends and constant jealousy is another sign. Unfortunately, extreme jealousy isn’t a compliment or an act of love – it’s a serious problem.
“I’ve never been in an abusive relationship however I had a friend that was in one and I learned from her pain and tears, to never make the same mistake,” said Ashley Smith, a sophomore Psychology major from New Orleans. Many people also deal with abusive relationships because they have low self esteem and feel as though this is the best love and affection they can get.
But contrary to popular belief, this search for love and affection can turn nasty. That’s what many people especially young people have to discover the hard way. Abuse is not love and will never get better over time. It is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with. It makes no sense at all to get hit by the love bug and walk away with a lifetime full of scars.