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Domestic Violence Statistics

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As stated by Domestic Violence Statistics, nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup (n.d., para. 5). According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, domestic violence is the act of inflicting physical injury by one family or household member on another. Domestic violence is one of the leading causes of injuries to women. Domestic violence can happen to anyone at any point in their life.

In 2010, Katy Perry, an American singer, songwriter, and actress, wrote one of the most beautiful songs, both lyrically and musically. The song Pearl describes a young woman who has degraded herself because of the man she is with. In the song, Ms. Perry uses a clever metaphor to compare a woman to a shell and a pearl; the young woman has turned herself into a shell when she “used to be a pearl.” Although feminism has come so far, domestic violence, as explained in the song Pearl, demotes self-respect, makes women to be afraid to be themselves, and silences their voice because women still feel the need to impress other people.

Self-respect is a major problem for women, especially teenage girls. A lot of teenage girls do not have self-respect; they rely on others to tell them who to be. Buddha once said, “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” (as cited in Good Reads, n.d., para. 2). Teenage girls constantly change their image, keeping up with the always-changing styles and fashion statements. Relying on other people to change the way you dress and act is a bad influence on young girls’ self-respect. Unfortunately, I’ve experienced self-respect problems first-hand. I was made fun of all throughout middle school and high school. All those people cut into my self-esteem deeper and deeper until they reached my core, my reason for being alive. They cut into that reason so far that it nearly died, I nearly died. I was suicidal for three years because of this. It takes a lot for self-respect problems to go away, but it only takes an instant for them to appear. In the song, there are a few lines that Katy sings referring to herself rather than the other woman, “Cause I used to be a shell, / yeah I let him rule my world. / But I woke up and grew strong, / and I can still go on. / And no one can take my pearl” (lines 37-42).

Harvey Fierstein said, “Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself” (as cited in Good Reads, n.d., para. 4). When in an abusive relationship, women tend to put away the part of themselves that makes them unique. Their abusers mold them into their perfect significant other, with no faults, no flaws. Thankfully, I haven’t had to deal with an abusive partner, but I have had abusive friends: friends who have made me rethink who I am and who have never appreciated me. In lines 9-12 of the song, Katy sings, “She could be a statue of liberty, / she could be a Joan of Arc. / But he's scared of the light that's inside of her, / so he keeps her in the dark.” This part of the song is reiterated multiple times. It means that her significant other is afraid of who she is and feels emasculated, so he buries her beneath his insecurities. Demeaning her makes him feel masculine.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” (as cited in The Quote Garden, 2014, para. 2). I personally love this quote because it is not only true, but it also speaks to a lot of women. Women tend to forget that they still have a voice, even if they are being constantly silenced by their partners. Women are often scared to report their abuser, in fear that they will be hurt even more. According to SafeHorizon, most domestic violence incidents are never reported (2014). They think that it’s their fault that they are being abused, and in most cases, it’s not. I’ve seen shows and movies about domestic violence, such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Lifetime Movie Network’s When No One Would Listen. In When No One Would Listen, a woman, after she and their son endured years of abuse, left her husband. Later on, the husband hunts her and their son down and murders her for leaving. According to StatisticBrain, about 85% of domestic violence victims are women (2014).




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