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Portage Township Media

Portage Township Media

Ask Ms. Evans: Domestic Violence

Ask Ms. Evans: Domestic Violence

Dear Ms. Evans,


I haven’t been able to sleep at home. My parents are constantly fighting. When I come to school and talk to my friends about my parents, they say it isn’t normal. Sometimes they hit each other when they’re mad, but that is just something people do, right? I don’t know what I should do or who I should tell, I just want us all to be safe and I can sleep. Do you have any advice?


Dear Student,


Your friends are right – it is not normal or acceptable for romantic partners to be physically violent toward each other in any way. Violence between people in a relationship is called Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), more commonly known as domestic violence.

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IPV is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over the other partner. Abusive people believe they have the right to control and restrict their partner’s behavior, and it sounds like both of your parents are struggling with abusive behaviors right now.


Abusive behaviors can be physical – like hitting or kicking – but they can also look much different than the “domestic violence” that you see on television. IPV can be sexual, for example, forcing a partner to participate in a sex act that they are not comfortable with; IPV can be financial, like controlling your access to a bank account or giving you a strict allowance; IPV can be psychological, like threatening to hurt your loved ones or pets if you behave in a way they don’t like. These are just a few examples of abusive behaviors, and IPV looks different for different people.


Any type of IPV between romantic partners makes your home environment unsafe, and the best thing that you can do for your own safety and the safety of your parents is to talk to another adult that you trust about what is going on. There are so many resources available for families that are struggling with IPV, and the quickest way to that help is by telling an adult so they can work to make sure you are safe and your parents are getting the help they need.


You’re exhausted because the environment that your parents have created at home is not safe, and it makes sense that you cannot get a restful sleep in such a chaotic place! Talking to an adult that you trust, someone who is removed from the situation (not one of your parents), can help you take a step toward getting the rest you need.


Sometimes people need more help than we can offer, and when an argument escalates to physical violence, it’s important to take steps to keep everyone safe. If you ever are afraid that someone is in danger, call 911.


PHS Press understands this discussion can be triggering, if you need someone to talk to you can visit Ms. Evans or a trusted adult. You can also call 800-799-7233, or text START to 88788. You are not alone.


Do you have a question for Ms. Evans? Email us at [email protected]!

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