By MAURA MAYS
The problem of breakup violence is growing larger and more dangerous. It does not only cause shame and embarrassment for the parties involved, but can also lead to suicide and in some cases, murder.
The difficult feelings associated with any breakup can seem overwhelming, especially to those who are experiencing it for the first time. Some do not understand that these emotions are normal and to be expected, and thus react in a rash manner. Sometimes, in the wake of a split, a boy may send out a revealing photograph that was sent to him previously. This type of cyber-bullying occasionally leads to suicide. Social media adds more stress to the situation, with declarations of loss resonating throughout everyone’s Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, leading to an unnecessary amount of outside questioning, causing the breakup to be exaggerated and more humiliating.
Digital tools of social media and text messaging also gives abusers another way to degrade and frighten their victims and make it easier for others to insert taunting messages.
According to the American Psychological Association, one in three young adults is the victim of physical, verbal, emotional or sexual abuse by a dating partner. Even in light of this staggering statistic, solutions to this issue are not prevalent. Oftentimes, parents choose to talk with their children about drinking and driving, experimenting with recreational drugs and safe sex, but the problem of breakup violence is not considered.
As reported by CBS News, a young woman named Lauren Astley was brutally murdered on July 3, 2011, near Wayland, Mass. Months after breaking up with her boyfriend Nathaniel Fujita, she drove alone to his house to see how he was doing, and he strangled her with a bungee cord and cut open her throat. In February of 2013, Fujita was found guilty of first degree murder with deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Astley and Fujita’s fellow classmates at Lincoln-Sudbury High School in Mass. are working to raise awareness of dating violence. They started a club where students meet weekly to discuss and listen to classmates about the warning signs of an abusive relationship.
The victim’s father, Malcolm Astley, now travels to different high schools to present on potentially dangerous signs of violence among their peers.
It is up to society to put a stop to such violence. Far too often is the problem ignored, or people are too afraid to voice concerns. Violence and abuse are serious matters, warranting serious conversations.
It is also important for those in danger of domestic violence or abuse to understand the signs of someone perpetuating acts against them. According to Love is Respect, an information website and hotline, the 10 warning signs of an abusive partner includes your partner checking your cell phone or email without your permission, constantly putting you down, extreme jealousy or insecurity, explosive temper, isolating you from family or friends, making false accusations, mood swings, physically hurts you in any way, possessive, and tells you what to do.
Recognizing these traits in a person could help determine the manner in which that person will react to and handle a breakup. With young couples displaying such lover towards one another at one time, it is hard for anyone to imagine this gruesome and destructive outcome. It is the responsibility of men and women alike to bring attention to these potential risks, and to take action against the abhorrent violence against young women today.