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The most expensive and shame-filled secret many of us will ever keep. It's time to tell the truth.

Men. Women. Children. Domestic violence can happen to anybody. The costs, both personally AND to society at large, are too much. Scroll the infographics and stay 'til the end to see the surprising answers to two of the most-asked questions abuse survivors hear.

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What even is domestic violence?

Many times, victims are reluctant to acknowledge that what they experience is abuse. Abusers can be very adept at making their partner feel like they are equally (or totally) at fault.


Who does domestic violence happen to? Pretty much just women, right? WRONG.

Men are not immune from rape, stalking, and domestic violence AT ALL.

Also, look at the age for women most at risk. This tells us we need to do a better job arming our children with the facts they need about what abuse is and how to recognize early signs. A lot of people go into relationships with the proverbial rose-colored glasses. By the time they realize anything is amiss, their lives can be dauntingly entangled with their abuser's.

What happens when a child is raised in an abusive environment?

Lastly, you simply won't believe how we as a society pay for this widespread affliction we're not talking about.

If you don't believe these numbers, we invite you to explore the sources listed just above.

And finally, if you're asking yourself, "Why does anyone stay with an abuser?" or "Why don't they just leave?" here are the honest answers you probably wouldn't expect.

From Leslie Morgan Steiner:

"Why did I stay? The answer is easy. I didn't KNOW he was abusing me. Even though he held those loaded guns to my head, pushed me down stairs, threatened to kill our dog, pulled the key out of the car ignition as I drove down the highway, poured coffee grounds on my head as I dressed for a job interview … I never once thought of myself as a battered wife. Instead, I was a very strong woman in love with a deeply troubled man, and I was the only person on earth who could help Connor face his demons."

"Why didn't I walk out? I could have left any time. To me this is the saddest and most painful question that people ask because we victims know something you usually don't. It's INCREDIBLY dangerous to leave an abuser because the final step in the domestic violence pattern is 'kill her.' Over 70% of domestic violence murders happen after the victim has ended the relationship, after she's gotten out. Because then the abuser has nothing left to lose. Other outcomes often include long-term stalking (even after the abuser remarries), denial of financial resources, and manipulation of the family court system to terrify the victim and her children who are regularly forced by family court judges to spend unsupervised time with the man who beat their mother. And still we ask, 'Why doesn't she just leave?'"

You can take a stand right now. Share this to help educate your friends, and consider volunteering at a local shelter or a hotline. Because domestic violence is happening all around us and victims are often too ashamed or scared to speak up. Inviting people to open up can do a world of good.

Tell your friends list: "If you're struggling with domestic violence, I'm a safe person you can tell." And if someone comes to you, help them find professionals who can advise them on next steps.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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via Pexels

A couple celebrates while packing their home.

One of the topics that we like to highlight on Upworthy is people who are redefining what it means to be in a relationship. Recently, we’ve shared the stories of platonic life partners, moms who work together as part of a “mommune” and a polyamorous family with four equally-committed parents.

A growing number of people are reevaluating traditional relationships and entering lifestyles that work for them instead of trying to fit into preexisting roles. It makes sense because the more lifestyle options that are available, the greater chance we have to be happy.

A recent trend in unconventional relationships is married couples "living apart together," or LATs as they are known among mental health professionals.

Actress Helena Bonham Carter and director Tim Burton, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and producer Brad Falchuk, and photographer Annie Leibovitz and activist Susan Sontag are all high-profile couples who’ve embraced the LAT lifestyle.

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Family

Professional tidier Marie Kondo says she's 'kind of given up' after having three kids

Hearing Kondo say, 'My home is messy,' is sparking joy for moms everywhere.

Marie Kondo playing with her daughters.

Marie Kondo's book, "The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up," has repeatedly made huge waves around the world since it came out in 2010. From eliminating anything that didn't "spark joy" from your house to folding clothes into tiny rectangles and storing them vertically, the KonMari method of maintaining an organized home hit the mark for millions of people. The success of her book even led to two Netflix series.

It also sparked backlash from parents who insisted that keeping a tidy home with children was not so simple. It's one thing to get rid of an old sweater that no longer brings you joy. It's entirely another to toss an old, empty cereal box that sparks zero joy for you, but that your 2-year-old is inexplicably attached to.

To be fair, Kondo never forced her way into anyone's home and made them organize it her way. But also to be fair, she didn't have kids when she wrote her best-selling book on keeping a tidy home. The reality is that keeping a home organized and tidy with children living in it is a whole other ballgame, as Kondo has discovered now that she has three kids of her own.

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Pop Culture

YouTube star MrBeast sponsors 1,000 people's cataract surgery to help them see again

"I had never heard of MrBeast so I almost hung up. But gratefully did not hang up."

YouTube star sponsors 1,000 people's cataract surgery

Blindness touches people's lives around the world and YouTube star Jimmy Donaldson, more popularly known as MrBeast, is trying to do something about it. Donaldson made it his mission to help 1,000 people regain their eyesight with the help of Dr. Jeff Levenson, an ophthalmologist and surgeon in Jacksonville, Florida.

Levenson has been operating a program called "Gift of Sight" for over 20 years. The program provides free cataract surgery to uninsured people who are legally blind for free, so long as they meet certain criteria. Levenson had never heard of Donaldson, and he almost hung up on him when the YouTube star called to ask about a partnership.

"I had never heard of MrBeast so I almost hung up. But gratefully did not hang up," Levenson told CNN.

After figuring out that Donaldson was indeed a real person who wanted to help others, the duo called around the Jacksonville area to determine the people who needed help the most. They got their list of clients from free clinics and homeless shelters, which covered the United States portion of the surgeries.

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A mom makes sensory sand by putting Cheerios in a blender.

A parenting influencer who goes by the name @ellethevirgo on TikTok has shared a brilliant hack that can turn a simple box of Cheerios into a fun sensory sand experience. The great part is that the sand is edible, so you don’t have to worry if your child puts some in their mouth, which they will inevitably do.

The recipe for Cheerios sensory sand is pretty simple:

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Gaël Monfils makes tennis a must-see.

Tennis isn't always the most entertaining sport to watch, especially if you're not particularly interested in seeing a ball get slapped across a net at 1,000,000 mph approximately 17,000 times. You could probably get whiplash or eye strain if you focused too hard on it. While some people love the sport, others need a little more than grunts and sneaker sounds to capture their attention.

If you're in the group of people who need to be entertained, look no further than Gaël Monfils, a professional French tennis player that has earned the nickname, "The Entertainer." Monfils turned pro in 2004 and has multiple championship matches under his belt, and yet he still takes the time to be...extra while playing.

In a compilation video uploaded to TikTok, we see the 36-year-old tennis player dancing after hitting the ball across the net just out of his opponent's reach. But of course, he also doesn't hit the ball like your average player, either. In one part of the video, Monfils jumps up extremely high and bicycle kicks as he hits the ball with his tongue hanging out of his mouth.

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