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.

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.

More
True
Ultraviolet

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

Culture
via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
True
Walgreens
via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture