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This item originally appeared in the October 14, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.


News Editor

She thought he was a really good guy. He brainwashed her into thinking she really loved him. He said they were going to get married.

They even talked when they were not together. When she was at the store with her mom, he had to know where she was, what she was doing and who she was with.

She saw him pushing her away from her friends, and her friends did not like him. Her friends got sick of her and the drama he caused.

She knows now what he was doing then; he did not want her to have any friends.

He wanted to seem like he was the only one who cared for her. He told her a thousand times a day he loved her.

Her parents did not like him because he was suspicious. But she did not care.

She had never kissed a boy before him. He tried to pressure her into doing other things. He always talked about having sex with her because he loved her so much.

For her birthday he gave her a promise ring. They were at his place in a pool area. They were kissing, and she felt uncomfortable in the public place. He said he wanted to have sex, and they almost did. But she pushed him off and said, "No."

One day she had enough and told him she was breaking up with him. Though he always threatened to hurt himself, she was afraid he would hurt her family.

One night after a fight, he threatened to kill himself. She was about to call 9-1-1 but did not because he promised he would not kill himself.

She called him later that night, but he did not answer his phone. She worried throughout the night because she thought he was dead.

She managed to break up with him for good when he was detained in a correctional facility. She is one of the lucky ones.

The story of this Louisiana Tech student, who wanted to remain anonymous, is not an isolated event. According to documents provided by the Domestic Abuse Resistance Team, statistically, one in five college females will experience some form of dating violence.

Of the five women sitting in front of you in class, at the table in the Student Center or running at the track, one of them will tell a story like hers.

According to statistics provided by D.A.R.T., battering accounts for more injuries to women than auto accidents, rapes and muggings combined.

Every 12 seconds a woman is beaten in the United States.

By the time you reach the end of this story, 12 more women will have been beaten by the people who "love" them.

October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month. Marie Schwartz, community advocate for D.A.R.T., said dating violence is not always physical.

Wanda James, D.A.R.T. legal advocate, said the term "abuse" is usually applied to actions that do not include physical contact.

"Domestic abuse is not always violence, but domestic violence is always abuse," she said.

Schwartz said domestic violence or abuse is sometimes referred to as a "silent problem" because it is the most underreported crime in America.

"Often people don't want to come forward," Schwartz said. "Any statistic you see is only for reported cases. The statistics multiplied by 10 gives a more accurate number."

Schwartz said abuse and violence stem from one thing -- the abuser's need for power and control.

"People with abusive personalities will isolate the victim from family, friends or church. Who has the control then? That person does."

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