Domestic violence should not happen to anyone. But it does. It happens to approximately 600,000 women and 100,000 men every year. It happens to everyone. Age, race, gender or wealth has absolutely nothing to do with it.
About one in five high school females report being abused by a boyfriend, physically or sexually. Patty Nale, mother of three, says she got married at the age of sixteen while pregnant. “I was stupid,” Nale says. “We dated for a year and we were married for eleven years. He never showed any sign of abuse until months after we got married. He was emotionally, verbally and physically abusive.” People that are controlling are more likely to show abusive qualities later.
Alcohol and drug use are factors of abuse. SHS sophomore, Paige DeNardi went to her mother’s house every other weekend to be greeted by a drunken, abusive step-father. Her step-father verbally abused her mother. The couple was together for ten years. “Sometimes I was scared to go to my mom’s,” DeNardi says. “When he was drunk he got really mean, which was always. He was always drunk.”
Nale says her ex-husband started using drugs and alcohol later in their marriage. “When he drank, he became evil,” Nale said. Two thirds of abuse victims claim that their partner had been drinking or using drugs when the abuse happened.
Nale had two children with her ex-husband and said she feared for her children’s safety more than her own. “I had to protect them. They were my top priority,” Nale said.
Nale was threatened at knife tip and gun point. She was told she was worthless. “To get out of an abusive situation, you really have to rebuild your confidence and self-esteem,” Nale says, “and you have to have God in your life. But the important thing is, is that you can get out of it.”
Anyone facing domestic violence that needs help can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. The call is anonymous and confidential. There’s definitely no excuse for abuse.
By: Heather Nale, Staff Writer