February 23, 2020 | Project Morph Team

No one is truly safe. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, who you’re with, what you look like, or even where you are. Domestic violence is a plague on society that can follow anyone at any time, and it can take multiple forms. Whether it is emotional, physical, or mental torture, domestic violence establishes an unfair balance of control over another person, taking away the victim’s freedom and pursuit of happiness. It is imperative that society works towards eliminating the mentality that contributes towards domestic violence, and as such it is essential to recognize the presence that domestic violence has today.

Domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, is defined as a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship, according to thehotline.org. It is not gender specific, although one in four women and one in nine men have experienced this unfortunate phenomena. Examples include using intimidation, emotional abuse, isolation, children, privilege, economic abuse, coercion, threats, or minimizing, denying, or blaming issues on a significant other. These examples all have a common theme: control. The abuser wants control over their target, and they do this through abuse of their trust and love. This inhumane act leads to a wide range of impacts, from gaslighting to depression to suicide or death.

Unfortunately, domestic abuse can be ingrained into certain people’s minds as “normal” or “acceptable.” This makes it so victims are unable to recognize what constitutes as abuse, and it is essential to shed light on what constitutes as domestic violence in order to both allow for greater self-awareness for abusers and to allow the abused to recognize when they are being unfairly treated and opening up avenues for help.

Arguably the most famous incident of domestic violence is between the former celebrity couple Chris Brown and Rihanna. Recent tragedies such as the death of Alexander Urtula and the crimes of Michelle Carter- both cases in which abusive girlfriends coerced their boyfriends to commit suicide- in addition to the initially mentioned story of Chris Brown and Rihanna demonstrate the need of awareness concerning domestic violence. Abuse happens every day, and greater advocacy and social justice help break down the challenge of reaching a peaceful, beautiful world.

In April 2019, we were inspired to initiate Project Morph when we started a conversation with a middle-aged woman sitting in the corner of a Starbucks in San Francisco. She approached us and asked to use our phones, hoping that her lawyer would pick up. She spoke about her own experience with domestic violence and encouraged us to always believe in ourselves. Her story embodies the unthinkable pain and struggles that a victim of domestic violence without any resources has. We want to see real, unique changes in the Bay Area through long-term solutions.

Tragedy and injustice are temporary. Change and progress are forever.

Works Cited

“Abuse Defined.” The National Domestic Violence Hotline, https://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/.

“NCADV: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.” The Nation’s Leading Grassroots Voice on Domestic Violence, https://ncadv.org/statistics.

Thebault, Reis. “She Had ‘Total Control’ of Her Boyfriend, Prosecutors Say. Now She’s Charged in His Suicide.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 30 Oct. 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/10/28/inyoung-you-alexander-urtula-manslaughter-suicide/.

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