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abuse

Health

Why do people stay in abusive relationships? This heartbreaking analogy helps explain.

When people learn of an abusive relationship, the common question that surfaces is "If it was so bad, why didn't you just leave?"

Photo from Burst taken by Avelino Calvary Martinez

Abusive relationships can be more complicated than just leaving.

This article originally appeared on 06.15.18


Chloe Dykstra has spoken out about the painful reality of being in an abusive relationship.

In a post on Medium in June 2018, beloved gamer, actress, model, and cosplayer Dykstra wrote about the harrowing experience of being in a long-term abusive relationship.

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One of the scariest things about being trapped in a situation with a dangerous person is how many people don't notice. Abusers, kidnappers, traffickers, and the like often monitor and control a person so tightly that asking for help seems impossible.

There are countless stories of people managing to slip someone a note saying they need help or signaling in some other way that they're in an unsafe situation. Wouldn't it be great if there was a way that they could quickly, yet discreetly, alert people that they were in trouble without flagging the person putting them in danger?

There is. It's the international signal for help, and it's going viral for all the right reasons.

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Few celebrity interviews have drawn as much worldwide attention as Oprah's recent sit-down with Harry and Meghan, which should come as no surprise. These people have a level of worldwide recognition and fame that far surpasses most world leaders and even most entertainers.

With fame comes critics, with criticism comes controversy, and with controversy comes conversations among the masses. And in those conversations, people often feel free to say things to or about famous people that they wouldn't say to or about someone they know in real life. It's easy to dehumanize celebrities who seem so different from the average person, and since they're never going to see what we say, it doesn't really matter anyway, right?

The problem is that others—people we actually care about—do see what we say. And it does matter to them.

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One in four women and one in seven men will be victims of intimate partner violence in their lives. However, much of this violence goes unreported. Only 25% of physical assaults against women are reported to the police each year.

Even Supergirl has experienced domestic violence. For the first time, actress Melissa Benoist opened up about her own experiences with domestic violence on her Instagram page. In a 14-minute video, Benoist spoke about her abusive relationship, which she compared to a "runaway freight train."

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